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Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Engineering future healthcare

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) is an interdisciplinary technology-focused research institute located at the heart of the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences campus, adjacent to the Churchill Hospital.

Established in 2008, the IBME offers a world-class venue for cross-disciplinary biomedical engineering research and postgraduate training, where engineers, scientists and clinicians work together within a single ecosystem on addressing unmet needs in the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of major diseases and conditions. The Institute’s core research missions are to develop novel medical devices, technology and systems capable of delivering substantial healthcare benefit, and to translate new engineering technologies into clinical practice.

Case Studies

Clinician working on Organox metra machine which enables storage and functional assessment of donor organs prior to transplantation

OrganOx metra: Making more livers usable for transplant

Resulting from cross-disciplinary biomedical engineering research at the University of Oxford’s Departments of Engineering Science and of Surgical Sciences, and funded by the NIHR and EU, the OrganOx metra is the world’s first normothermic (i.e. normal body temperature) organ preservation device used for improved and prolonged preservation and functional testing of livers prior to transplantation.

Researcher wearing PPE holding a vial of coronavirus sample

OxLAMP® – accurate and rapid COVID-19 test with no specialist equipment needed

Researchers at the Department of Engineering Science and at the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) developed a test very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic to detect in under 30 minutes whether a person is infected with the virus and is still infectious. *Image credit: Jude Palmer/Royal Academy of Engineering*

The GDm-Health app is designed to improve gestational diabetes management. Image shows a smartphone linked by Bluetooth to a blood glucose meter.

GDm-Health™: Gestational Diabetes management system

With funding from the Health Innovation Challenge Fund (a joint funding programme from the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health and Social Care), Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci undertook a programme of research starting in 2008 to design a digital health system to support patients in the self-management of a chronic condition, using key features of new smartphone technology.

OxVent ventilator machine, front view

OxVent – simple and scalable ventilator

In March 2020, in response to the UK Government’s Ventilator Challenge, students, academic engineers and medics at Oxford and King’s College London built a completely new, safe, simple and scalable ventilator from scratch in a week. This amazing team with IBME students, staff and academics playing key roles was forged during intense round-the-clock work in the first wave and has developed through to OxVent Limited, the social venture, today.