Gloved hands using pippet to retrieve sample from petri dish

Biomolecular and cellular engineering

Engineering life-changing technologies in health and medicine

From advanced sensors to new implant materials, our researchers are using the latest biotechnology to help us live healthier lives.

Biomolecular and cellular engineering research at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering envisions applying engineering principles to enhance human health and wellbeing. Researchers at our school work closely with clinicians and health experts to develop innovative technologies and products for various bio applications.

We employ bioengineering methodologies to address challenges in medical device fabrication, biosensing, therapeutics and tissue engineering. By leveraging materials and cellular interfaces, and collaborating with data scientists experienced in molecular dynamics and computational modelling, our research is focused on three main themes:

Our experts: Professor Fariba Dehghani, Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Dr Yi Shen, Dr Sina Naficy, Dr Syamak Farajikhah, Dr Md. Arifur Rahim.

We harness different types of advanced organic and inorganic materials to develop novel diagnostic devices. These systems play a crucial role in early disease detection and patient monitoring by sensing specific target molecules. Our goal is to personalize healthcare with user-friendly, cost-effective, and portable diagnostic point-of-care devices.

Our research involves detecting analytes and biomarkers by developing new techniques, using small amounts of biological samples like saliva, urine, sweat, blood, or gut gases and metabolites. Our researchers have also made significant breakthroughs in the development of ingestible sensing and delivery systems that are undergoing commercialisation and international deployment for sensing gut disorders.

Additionally, we use microfluidic systems to study cell-cell and cell-material interactions, which inform disease prevention and novel treatment approaches for conditions like Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Our experts: Professor Fariba Dehghani, Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Dr Yi Shen, Dr Anne Mai-Prochnow, Dr Sina Naficy, Dr Syamak Farajikhah, Dr Md. Arifur Rahim, Dr Sepehr Talebian, Dr Franocis Allioux.

One of the areas of research at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering lies in biomimetics and the development of biocompatible materials from biopolymers and synthetic polymers that replicate the properties of soft and hard tissues.

This research team is a multidisciplinary team centred at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering involving engineers, clinicians and material scientists who aim to integrate our expertise in image analysis, computational modelling and material design to create the next generation of personalised implants with a precise fit for their clinical applications for congenital heart disease (CHD), including newborn babies, thereby reducing morbidity levels.

Our experts: Professor Fariba Dehghani, Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Dr Yi Shen, Dr Anne Mai-Prochnow, Dr Sina Naficy, Dr Syamak Farajikhah, Dr Md. Arifur Rahim, Dr Sepehr Talebian, Dr Franocis Allioux.

We are also focused on developing degradable and non-degradable biomaterials suitable for medical devices, implants, drug delivery, and personalised medicine. We are adept at surface modification to create biologically active surfaces with antimicrobial, antithrombotic, adhesive, or non-adhesive properties, as well as surfaces that prevent biofilm formation.

The impact of our research spans a wide range of applications, from musculoskeletal to cardiac health, and includes drug delivery for diseases such as Alzheimer's, herpes simplex virus infection, cancer, and senescence.

Our experts: Professor Fariba Dehghani, Adjunct Professor David Fletcher, Dr Sina Naficy, Dr Peter Valtchev.

By collaborating with experts in computational modelling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, we gain valuable insights into biomolecular and biomaterial interactions, allowing us to optimise the design of biomedical devices and processes.

These powerful simulation tools validate laboratory observations and aid in predicting the optimum design and identifying therapeutic compounds. For example, one of our multidisciplinary teams is investigating molecular docking to identify active compounds for treating viral infection.

Another team involving engineers, clinicians, and material scientists aims to integrate image analysis, computational modelling, and material design to create personalised implants with precise fits for clinical applications. These simulations and in silico studies enable us to design optimal shapes and geometries for heart valves and conduits.