UK University Opens Center for Tissue Research

Loughborough University has created the Centre for Biological Engineering (CBE) to expand its research in regenerative medicine, cell technologies and plasma medicine to improve human health. The center, which opened Oct. 1, 2009, is a collaborative effort between the university's department of chemical engineering, the Wolfson school of mechanical and manufacturing engineering and the department of electronic and electrical engineering.

According to the university, there is an immediate worldwide need for the development of replacement human tissue via the regenerative medicine approach and the application of stem cells within the pharmaceutical and health care functions.  Reliable production of proteins and cells in sufficient quantities also becomes critical in order to unlock the potential value of the recently sequenced human genome. Equally, considerable opportunities are emerging to electrically manipulate the growth and death of cells and tissues as a new gateway through which to combat hospital infection and to stimulate tissue growth. These offer a new dimension to biological engineering and are central to the CBE's research activity.

The CBE enables the university to develop its strength in engineering at a direct interface with biology and medicine and become a world-leading research center. The new facility includes a suite of class 2 laboratories for cell and tissue growth, a bioelectrical facility, an analytical suite to service all the laboratories and a laboratory with the potential for GMP operation. There is also an open-plan writing and meeting room space for postgraduate/postdoctoral study.

“The activities within the CBE are positioned in the translational space between scientific discovery and products, processes, techniques and therapies. This is a great opportunity for our broadly skilled multidisciplinary teams to work in the Loughborough problem-led research tradition," stated professor David Williams, director of the research school of health and life sciences, in a university press release.

Although the CBE will focus on tissue regeneration for the health care field, perhaps its research and discoveries in tissue regeneration and the application of stem cells will have implications in personal care.

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