In today’s guest blog, chemical engineer Al Edwards discusses how chemical engineers are responding to the diagnostics challenge that has arisen to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Chemical engineers and the diagnostics challenge
I’ve talked a good deal in recent posts about novel methods of drug delivery and vaccination (see ‘Making our bodies accept drugs faster’ and ‘Injecting from the instead’) however, today’s blog is about a product that is a step closer to being adopted world-wide.
The Nanopatch™, invented by Professor Mark Kendall, started life at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.
Marks’s Nanopatch™ idea was to offer a needle-free method of drug delivery that could be widely used and increase vaccine efficacy.
Today, Vaxxas and Mark are getting closer to making that idea a reality by raising £12.7 million of funding for a series of clinical programs and the development of a pipeline of new vaccine products for major diseases.
The way we deliver treatments to our bodies can have a huge impact on how successful it is. Being able to target a specific area can make drug delivery more efficient and have a greater impact.
As engineers we are always looking for ways to simplify procedures and get the best for consumers.
Often the best lessons we can learn come from taking cues from systems that already exist in nature.
New research from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has done just that by developing a method of targeting inflamed tissues with cellular backpacks.
Genetic engineering and genetic modification are tools that have been carefully and cautiously introduced around the world.
There are varying degrees of resistance to it use in different countries, but this hasn’t stopped some nations and researchers exploring the opportunities.
Recent research includes the genetic engineering of a malaria parasite to act as a vaccine, and of course there is the more wide-scale introduction of genetically modified crops to improve yields.
One of the latest developments includes modification of bacteria in such a way that they can be programmed to produce specific chemicals resulting from their metabolic processes, and how much of it.
In principle, their work could result in future chemical factories consisting of colonies of genetically engineered bacteria.
The Wyss Institute team has been able to trick the bacteria into self–eliminating the cells that are not high–output performers, ridding the entire process of the need for human and technological monitoring to make sure the bacteria are producing efficiently, and therefore hugely reducing the overall timescale of chemical production. Continue reading Bacteria on a factory scale (Day 233)