Latest News for Centre for NanoHealth

Glyconics Agreement Dec2014

Glyconics Inks Exclusive Licensing Deal with Swansea for COPD Biomarker Detection

Glyconics 

Glyconics announced it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Swansea University for the use of infrared spectroscopy for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The technology, which has been developed by Dr Paul Lewis, College of Medicine based at the Centre for NanoHealth uses noninvasive IR spectroscopy to easily and rapidly analyze patient sputum samples for proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomarkers that are characteristic of COPD. "With this license secured, we can move ahead to launch our technology into areas of unmet clinical need where there is very little genuine competition," said Glyconics CEO Berwyn Clarke. "Given the global significance of COPD as a major clinical problem we will be looking to rapidly identify commercial partners who can assist in the deployment of our devices into the major global markets.

Membrane Fabrication Dec2014

'Membrane Fabrication' published by Swansea University Academics

Membrane Fabrication 

Professor Nidal Hilal (Chair in Water Process Engineering, College of Engineering at Swansea University and Editor-in-Chief of the International journal Desalination) and Dr Chris Wright (Director of the Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre and Executive Board member of the Centre for NanoHealth, Swansea University) are the co-authors of a recently published book titled ‘Membrane Fabrication’, ISBN: 9781482210453.

The book addresses membrane manufacturing and comprehensively reviews and assesses the membrane fabrication process and the techniques used for production of inorganic, polymeric and composite membranes. It details how different membranes can be fabricated and tailored for specific applications including water treatment, desalination, pharmaceutical, tissue engineering and drug delivery.

It shows the effects of different fabrication conditions on inorganic, polymeric and composite membranes and how these fabrication conditions can be controlled to optimize membrane construction and the subsequent application of the membrane system.

Epigenetic research Oct2014

Collaboration with Chromotrap leads to step change in efficiency and scope of epigenetic research

Scientists at Swansea University’s Centre for NanoHealth, College of Medicine, who are working in collaboration with Porvair plc, have co-developed and taken to market Chromatrap® 96 (C96) – a product which is designed to enable researchers to perform many Chromatinimmunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments simultaneously.

ChIP is a technique used to study the association of specific proteins with defined genomic regions and it is crucial to epigenetic research.

Epigenetics is the study of gene information and its characteristics and its application is used in essential research for diseases including cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s. The overall application of epigenetics remains in its infancy.

The Chromatrap® 96 is set to make a major contribution to epigenetic research on a global scale, offering researchers unprecedented assay flexibility and speed.

The research is featured this month on the front page of leading life sciences journal Nature Methods online and the full feature can be found here http://www.nature.com/app_notes/nmeth/2014/140909/pdf/nmeth.f.372.pdf  

Professor Steve Conlan, Head of Reproductive Biology and Gynaecological Oncology Research, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the College of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Centre for NanoHealth, said: “Our collaboration with Porvair has led to the development of a technical advancement that is allowing us to streamline our epigenetics research by enabling faster and more accurate experiments necessary to understand disease processes and therapeutic developments.”

The group’s research is explained in this short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0uhdtVAoQQ.

Dr Amy Beynon of Porvair said: “Chromatrap streamlines the ChIP process making it a simple, efficient and easy assay to perform. The C96 format provides customers with huge flexibility and greater reproducibility. We are the only company to provide a format in which 96 ChIP assays can be processed in just one day.

“Excellent feedback from customers and a growing database we hope to provide a step change in ChIP and its use for clinical research.”

 

New cancer sensor Sept2014

Swansea University researchers develop new cancer detecting sensor

A team of researchers from Swansea University, using the University’s Centre for NanoHealth, have developed a highly sensitive graphene biosensor with the capability to detect molecules which show signs of increased cancer risk.

The newly developed graphene biosensor could ultimately help to provide a rapid diagnosis at the point of care. In comparison with other bioassay tests, this sensor was over five times more sensitive.

Conventionally, graphene is produced using an exfoliation technique in which layers of graphene are stripped from graphite. However for a biosensor, a large substrate area is required in order to produce patterned graphene devices.

The researchers used conditions of low pressure and very high temperatures in order to grow graphene on a substrate of silicon carbide. The graphene devices were then patterned by using methods similar to those used when processing semiconductors. The team then attached antibody bioreceptor molecules that could bind to specific target molecules in urine, saliva or blood.

In order to verify if the bioreceptor molecules were bound to the graphene biosensor, the researchers used Raman spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The biosensor was then exposed to various concentrations of the molecule 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG).

When high amounts of DNA damage occur, 8-OHdG is produced which is connected to a high risk of cancer development. Traditional detection tests, such as enzyme-linked immunobsorbant assays (ELISAs), are not capable of detecting the low concentrations of 8-OHdG present in urine.

The graphene sensor had the capability to detect low concentrations of 8-OHdG at a comparatively faster rate. Co-author of the study Dr Owen Guy, Swansea University said: “Graphene has superb electronic transport properties and has an intrinsically high surface-to-volume ratio, which make it an ideal material for fabricating biosensors.

“Now that we’ve created the first proof-of-concept biosensor using epitaxial graphene, we will look to investigate a range of different biomarkers associated with different diseases and conditions, as well as detecting a number of different biomarkers on the same chip.”

The paper has been published in 2D Materials, a journal of IOP Publishing and can be downloaded from http://iopscience.iop.org/2053-1583/1/2/025004/article .

Upcoming events

CNH events

29th April 2015 - The Village Hotel, Swansea

'Antimicrobial Challenge: Working together to meet this global threat'

Microbes present a major threat to human health in the 21st century. The increased challenges to combat microbes impacts far beyond the healthcare sector and microbial control must be improved in food, agriculture, environment and water processing industries.  Microbial mechanisms epidemiology, clinical importance, treatment and contamination control strategies and prevention of antimicrobial resistance are a major challenge to all.

Delivered by the Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University, this FREE networking event will look at how the health communities, industry, Government and research institutions can work together to meet these worldwide challenges head on.

Click here to register your interest