Tissue Engineering & Bioprocessing
About our research
Research activities in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM) have been focusing on providing enabling technologies for regenerative medicine, including industrial scale cell/tissue culture in vitro, implantable biomaterials and processing, bio-manufacture of cellular therapeutics, and supply chain of living cells and tissues. We closely collaborate with clinicians in neural stem cell therapy, skin care and chronic wound healing, and orthopaedics.
In bio-design and bioprocessing, a particular interest is to develop platform technologies for molecular diagnostics. Working with colleagues in the Department of Engineering and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research, we have developed the third generation of loop mediated isothermal amplification technology (OxLAMP ® ) that is successfully used for rapid detection of Covid-19. The technology had been developed to detect other infectious diseases and cancers for point of care tests.
Our research areas
Oxford Centre for Tissue Engineering and Bioprocessing (OCTEB)
The Oxford Centre for Tissue Engineering and Bioprocessing (OCTEB), directed by Prof Cathy Ye, provides engineering solutions to cell/tissue culture in vitro, especially in a three-dimensional (3D) space, as more and more evidence has shown that cells are closer to their natural physiological state when cultured in 3D.
Rapid Nucleic Acid Test for Covid-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our research teams at the Department of Engineering Science and Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) began work on a diagnostic test in January 2020. We have developed a novel and rapid test which detects the presence of viral RNA in a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab sample within 30 minutes.
POCT and Home Test of Infectious Diseases
There has been a growing demand for a point of care test (POCT) and home test for various diseases and conditions, during and beyond COVID-19. A feasibility study will design ‘OxLAMP powered by a mobile phone’. This could take the form of a USB stick with a single-use paper strip supplied for a LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test. All reagents will be embedded onto the paper strip, and heating will be provided by a mobile phone or a laptop. This work will be undertaken in collaboration with the team at OSCAR (Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research).
Early Detection and Screening of Cancers
Accurate screening and early diagnosis have long been crucial components of the battle to reduce the burden of cancer morbidity and mortality. For example, 9 out of 10 cases of colorectal cancer can be treated successfully when found early (Cancer Research UK). The current non-invasive multi-target DNA test for cancer screening relies on expensive equipment and specially trained staff to perform the tests in medical laboratories. Thus, demand for a rapid and easy POCT (point of care test) for cancer screening for the wider population is high.