Recently the Bioprocess Research Industry Club and the BBSRC held a dissemination event in Leeds (7/8th March 2012). This was a forum for bioprocess professionals to view and discuss academic research projects with a view to applying these projects in industry. At this conference Dr. Nicholas Darton and Dr. Duncan Sharp from the CEB BioScience Engineering group won both conference prizes.
Dr. Nicholas Darton won the prize for "best presentation" on his research into "Fast ion-exchange separations in a Disposable Plastic Microcapillary Disc." In this research microcapillary film was engineered for use in the biopharmaceutical industry for the high speed separation of monoclonal antibody therapeutics. During the course of this work the platform technology developed was also applied to the synthesis of radio-therapeutics and in the capture of lentiviral vectors for use in gene therapy.
Dr. Duncan Sharp won the prize for "best poster" for his poster entitled "Amphipathic Polymer for Human cell preservation." His research has focused on the use of novel cell membrane permeabilising polymers to deliver non-permeating cryo/lyoprotectants into human cells. Potentially this could lead to improved stem cell cryopreservation methods, reducing losses in both cell viability and functionality. In addition, this approach could make the preservation of stem cells by lyophilisation a reality.