SET for BRITAIN, a major scientific competition and exhibition in Parliament, was held in the House of Commons on 9 March 2009.
There were three sessions for Biological and Biomedical Science, Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics) and Engineering. Applications were invited from early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers and technologists in UK who wish to exhibit posters. Both Paolo Bombelli and Vincent Ho from the department were selected from more than 600 entries to display their posters at the Engineering session.
Paolo presented a poster titled "HARNESSING SOLAR ENERGY BY PHOTO-VOLTAIC (BPV) DEVICES". The work described the development of a solar panel which combines the synthetic and biological techniques to produce an economical device for harnessing solar energy. There are key advantages which can be exploited through the development of BPV technology; these include low manufacturing costs, excellent energy efficiency and virtually carbon-free emission. Furthermore, the device is a flexible bio-electrochemical platform capable of producing a range of alternative products such as electrical current, CO2 capture and chemical cogeneration and water desalination.
The title of Vincent's poster was "MAGNETIC TARGETING OF MAMMALIAN CELLS FOR BIOENGINEERING APPLICATIONS". His work entails labelling mammalian cells magnetically, by binding magnetic particles onto cell surfaces and using magnetic fields to target these magnetically labelled cells and precisely position them. The advantage of his methodology is that it does not require cell uptake of magnetic materials, which is a variable process and his method can be adapted for various cell types. He was able to use this technique to construct three dimensional cellular structures by manipulating the magnetically labelled cells using magnetic fields.
Paolo is in CREST and is supervised by Dr Adrian Fisher, while Vincent is in the BioScience Engineering Group and is supervised by Prof Nigel Slater.