Upcoming Events

6th - 8th October 2014, International Conference on Material Science and Engineering in San Antonio, USA. 
Please see attached International Conference for details.

Latest News for Centre for NanoHealth

Sensors in Health- care June 2014


 “Sensors in Healthcare”

Tuesday, 10th June 2014, Centre for NanoHealth, Swansea University

The Sensors in Healthcare event was held on the 10th June 2014 at the Centre for NanoHealth (CNH), Swansea University. The Centre for NanoHealth combines nanotechnology with medical science to provide opportunities to benefit patients, healthcare providers and the healthcare industry both across Wales and globally. The day was organised to be part of the Welsh Festival of Innovation which is designed to provide the opportunity to view how Wales is at the forefront of enabling technologies which underpin key industry sectors.

After a brief introduction from Bruce McLelland from the Knowledge Transfer Network on the activities of the KTN and the Welsh Festival of Innovation, the first session kicked off the day with talks on the support available for Welsh developers working in the sensors and healthcare markets. Prof Steve Conlan, one of the Directors of the CNH overviewed the work of the Centre, its capabilities and its priorities. Simon Cooper from the Welsh Government detailed how the Welsh Government is equipped to support companies and what mechanisms are available. The first session was closed by Elaine Evans from the Technology Strategy Board on what support is available nationally through the Biomedical Catalyst and other relevant calls.

The second session offered an industry perspective on the latest advances within the healthcare sector. Chris Meadows from IQE Plc spoke on their vision to form a semiconductor technology cluster in Wales to build upon the existing capabilities and develop new capabilities. Robin Pittson from The Gwent Group gave an enlightening talk on the trends in electrochemical sensor materials and what niche and emerging markets may offer a lucrative opportunity in the future for biosensors. Nadeem Rizvi from Laser Micromachining Ltd demonstrated the usefulness of laser micromachining in medicine from microfluidics to microfilters.

The finals session of talks featured presentations from prominent academics at the CNH, Swansea University in the field of sensors and their latest developments. Dr Vincent Teng discussed how nano engineered micro needles could be used as painless sensors. Dr Owen Guy gave an overview of his work in semiconductor devices for point of care diagnostics. Dr Davide Deganello discussed the challenges and opportunities around printable biosensors and functional devices and the strength of the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating. The final talk of the day was from Dr Paul Lewis who described how Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) can be applied to a patients sputum to detect for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and how progress in miniturisation of these devices can take the equipment from benchtop to hand held devices for bedside monitoring.

The Sensors in Healthcare event provided ample opportunity for valuable networking to take place; academics, industrialist and Government bodies talking and finding out what is being done in this area and what can be done. This networking time was set alongside a poster competition in which the organisers were invited to judge the best for which there was a prize donated by the Gwent Group. The prize for the winning poster was awarded to Zari Tehrani on her graphene biosensor technology for detecting cancer risk biomarkers work which offered a fascinating glimpse into how the “wonder material” graphene can be made into sensors healthcare purposes. 

To view all speaker biographies and presentations, please visit https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/biosensing/article-view/-/blogs/sensors-in-medicine-10th-june-2014?p_p_auth=0jbFhaK5&_33_redirect=https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/biosensing/articles?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_okNCIW6dT09i&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1&_101_INSTANCE_okNCIW6dT09i_currentURL=%2Fweb%2Fbiosensing%2Farticles&_101_INSTANCE_okNCIW6dT09i_portletAjaxable=1


Research Findings June 2014

Swansea research findings may help the fight against cancer - Pathways hold hope of drug to block the paths of cancer genes     June 2014

A major piece of Swansea University-led research led by Professor Steven Conlan and Dr Deyarina Gonzalez from the University’s Centre for NanoHealth and College of Medicine, has unravelled a complex molecular mechanism controlling the regulation of genes.

The research has been published in top ranked journal “The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” of the United States of America, better known as PNAS. The work, which was funded in part by a Cancer Research UK grant to Professor Conlan, has unravelled a complex biochemical mechanism involving ‘Mediator’ a ‘molecular switchboard’ found in organisms from yeast to man.


Made up of over 20 proteins, Mediator is an evolutionary conserved large multisubunit protein complex involved in gene regulation which is structurally conserved between species with a central role in regulating RNA polymerase II– transcribed genes.

It serves as a ‘molecular switchboard’ by bridging the general transcription machinery and function-specific DNA binding proteins and playing a dynamic role in regulating a wide range of processes, involving, for example, thyroid and vitamin D receptors. The role of Mediator appears to be in the fine tuning of the activation and repression of gene expression in many organisms, yet the underlying mechanisms of how its own function is regulated remains to be unravelled.‌Made up of over 20 proteins, Mediator is an evolutionary conserved large multisubunit protein complex involved in gene regulation which is structurally conserved between species with a central role in regulating RNA polymerase II– transcribed genes.

The Swansea team have found one of the ways the ‘switchboard’ can turn off its own function and therefore shut down the expression of genes. This study demonstrates how a cascade of molecular events enables Mediator components to dynamically regulate the function of the Mediator complex, and in turn to control large sets of genes.

Put simply, now that the team understand the molecular mechanism controlling the regulation of genes and have found out the very distinctive steps along the pathway, they can focus on whether they can develop a drug that can target or “block” the steps in the mechanism they have uncovered, which may ultimately lead to the prevention of further development of cancer in patients.

The work was undertaken in collaboration with groups at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Germany.

Professor Steve Conlan said: “We are still in the very early stages of this research, but these findings are an encouraging start and open the way for developing targeted interventions (or drugs) to control gene expression in human diseases. “In particular, Dr Gonzalez and I, together with our colleague Dr Lewis Francis, located with the Centre for NanoHealth and who co-leads Reproductive Biology and Gynaecological Oncology research, will now take these findings and apply them to our research into endometrial (uterine) and ovarian cancer, which will have the ultimate aim of preventing the further development of cancer in patients.”

Rheology accolade May 2014

Swansea University Rheology expert receives accolade at British Society of Rheology and Institute of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics International Conference
19th May 2014

 Rheology Accolade

Rheology expert Dr Nafiseh Badiei, from Swansea University’s Centre for NanoHealth received an accolade for a poster on her work involving blood rheology at the recent Institute of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics Conference on Rheometry and General Rheology.

The award for best poster is presented annually by the British Society of Rheology. Each poster is judged by two leading international expert rheologists. This year the judges were Prof. R Buscall and Prof. H-M Laun.

The competition is fierce but Dr Nafiseh Badiei was awarded the runner-up prize after an exceptionally close contest with the winner from the Leeds Rheology group.

Commenting on her success Dr Badiei said: “ I am very pleased to  receive such recognition and encouragement. The competition for this award is always very strong and I would like to thank all colleagues at Swansea who work with me on rheology of biological materials. It really is a team effort.”   

The Centre for NanoHealth has specific interests in biomedical applications of rheology including its potential use as a tool for disease screening and therapeutic monitoring.

The Centre houses state-of-the-art rheometrical equipment including two ARES-G2 controlled strain rheometers (TA instruments, UK) and four AR-G2 controlled stress rheometers (TA instruments, UK).

Rheology is the science of flow and deformation of materials. The rheological properties e.g. viscosity, are of pivotal importance in the manufacturing or processing of many materials including inks, foodstuffs, oils, slurries, gels and in determining the consistency of a final product. For example, the perception of the texture of foods arises from the interaction between the rheology of the food product and movement in the mouth – a final product must not be too thin, or too thick, in order to satisfy the consumer.

The rheological properties of biological materials such as human blood are of great significance. Differences in blood rheology can signify the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The Centre also has successful collaborations, which have led to funded research projects, with several local Small and Medium Enterprises working in the biomedical, water treatment and food sectors. The combination of CNH (in Vitro) and BRU (Hospital based) facilities enables companies to access the best equipment and expertise in Rheology research.

To find out more, please visit www.swansea.ac.uk/nanohealth/researchareas/rheologyflow


Irish Minister May 2014

Irish Minister welcomes Swansea-Ireland collaboration on nanohealth

19th May 2014

An Irish Government Minister has welcomed academic co-operation between Swansea and Ireland in nanohealth, on a visit to the Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth (CAN), based at Swansea University and involving three Irish universities.

Brendan Howlin T D, Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, whose portfolio includes EU Cohesion Policy, was on a visit to Wales to discuss the Ireland Wales INTERREG Programme and visit projects supported by the Programme.   Brendan Howlin is pictured with Swansea University Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies and Gearoid O Keeffe, Head of EU North South Unit.

The Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth (CAN) is a cross-border innovation partnership linking business and academia in nanohealth.  It involves Swansea University, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, and University College Dublin.

CAN helps companies on either side of the Irish Sea stay at the forefront of innovation and growth in what is a fast developing and hugely influential healthcare sector.  Swansea University is the lead partner in the alliance, which is backed by £765,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Ireland Wales Cross Border (INTERREG 4A) programme.

Nanohealth is the application of nano-technology to healthcare.   Areas of work include miniaturised healthcare devices and improved disease diagnosis using nanoscale materials.  Regenerative medicine, which aims to reconstruct damaged tissues and organs, can also draw on nanotechnology, such as stem cells, tissue engineering or functional biomaterials.

Leaders of the project, including Professor Steve Conlan from Swansea University, and Dr Karen Griffin from University College Dublin, outlined CAN’s work for the Minister, before taking him on a tour of the Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University.

Speaking after the tour, Minister Howlin remarked, “It’s wonderful to see academic co-operation at the cutting-edge of technology, an area which will drive our continued economic recovery.  There is much to be gained from the kind of co-operation that the Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth is developing”

Professor Steve Conlan of Swansea University, director of the Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth, said:“Nanohealth will deliver major advances in healthcare, driving innovation and delivering economic development, but success requires collaboration.   The Alliance brings together strengths in Swansea and Dublin.

“Already, the Alliance has made advances in developing research technology and in building partnerships between academia, small companies and multinationals.   Companies are being set up in the field, creating jobs, and we have built links not only between Wales and Ireland but also at European level.”

Celtic Alliance for NanohealthNano Science Event – 15 April

The Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth held a Nano Science and Networking event on 15 April in the Liberty Stadium. The event featured talks from a number of world leading companies and academics and explored the current and emerging opportunities in the field of NanoHealth.

Participants were welcomed by Director of the Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth, Professor Steve Conlan. The morning session centred on the theme: ‘NanoHealth is Big Business’ and featured business presentations including ‘Delivering New Technologies and Patient Care’ by Dr Jeff Horton from GE Healthcare; and ‘Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials: Scientific Developments for the Requirements of Industry’ by Dr Sergio Anguissola from nanoTox Innovations.

The afternoon consisted of several Nanoscience workshops which covered topics including: ‘An introduction to nano-imaging capabilities’ by Dr Seydou Yao, Swansea University; ‘Image analysis of cell populations – from Data to Knowledge’ by Professor Huw Summers and Paul Rees, Swansea University; and ‘An introduction to vibrational spectroscopy’ by Dr Paul Lewis, Swansea University.

The final session looked at Data Analysis: Getting the most from your results and was presented by Dr Georgina Menzies, Swansea University.