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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Bioelectronic Systems Technology

News about BEST lab


The BEST Teams work is continuing strongly as Dr Rachana Acharya was awarded both the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship 2022 and the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. She will continue her research at the BEST group with the MSCA-UKRI Guarantee as a Marie Curie Research Fellow and will be working on 3D bioelectronic devices, primarily organic electrochemical transistors with 3D scaffolds based on conducting polymers. Her research goals include developing in vitro organ models, creating a database of cell signatures and generating novel applications for 3D OECTs. Rachana is also a postdoctoral affiliate at Newnham College. Congratulations Rachana. 



The BEST Team is delighted to announce that Dr Sarah Barron has been announced as one of the winners for this year's global postdoctoral R&D challenge at AstraZeneca. Sarah says, “It was an amazing and unique interview process, with the final 'Dragon's den-style' pitch held at the new headquarters in Cambridge (The DISC). I was awarded a fully funded Postdoctoral fellowship, to develop my proposed technology platform, which will start in the new year. I am very excited for the next chapter and grateful to the organisers and judges for making it possible!

Learn more about the AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctural Challenge

Dr Sarah Barron  Dr Sarah L Barron | LinkedIn


Dr. Alexander Boys recently accepted a faculty position in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in the United States. Alex is starting a research program focused on combining principles from tissue engineering and bioelectronics to build new monitoring and therapeutic systems for soft tissue. Alex has worked in the BEST group since 2019 on constructing implants for monitoring the gut-brain axis through a fellowship from the HFSP. 

Good Luck Alex  Alexander Boys | LinkedIn



Postdoc Anthie Moysidou as the first author on a newly released publication, "Investigation of Host–Microbe–Parasite Interactions in an In Vitro 3D Model of the Vertebrate Gut" in Advanced Biology. Read the article here:

Congrats Anthie!


Chiara Barberio, a PhD student in Roisin Owens Group, has been awarded a FENS and IBRO-PERC stipend to attend the ELECTRAIN-Extended Methods Course in Electrophysiology which takes place in May in Gottingen, Germany. This course is organized by MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program and International Max Planck Research School Neurosciences, Germany. Chiara's research focuses on the development of a 3D in vitro model of the neurovascular unit (NVU) integrated with a conducting polymer device for real-time monitoring.

Congrats Chiara!!


Our PhD student, Henry Lu wins 2nd place in the poster competition at the BioEL2022 Winter School! Congrats Henry, very well done!!


Dr. Roisin Owens featured on the Living Revolution podcast. Please have a listen to find out about all the amaing things the lab is up to.


Postdoc Anthie Moysidou was recently featured in a newletter for early career researchers. Read more about her here!

What is your organ? My research focuses on the role of the microbiome in the gut-brain axis cross-talk, under both homeostatic and pathophysiological conditions. Currently, I am focused on building models of the gut-ENS-immune axis.

What is your chip? During my PhD, I developed a 3D bioelectronic model of the gut, the L-Tubstor. In this platform, the intestinal tissue grows on a hollow, tubular electroactive scaffold, which concurrently serves as an electrode for real-time, non-invasive monitoring of the tissue health status and activity. My focus is now shifted on advancing my bioelectronic tools to build a more comprehensive 3D gut tissue model with integrated sensing units.

Why? The bidirectional communication between the gut, the microbiome and the brain is a well-established concept nowadays. However, the exact mechanisms of this crosstalk, and the role of microbiota, are not fully understood yet. Combining OOC technology and organic bioelectronics enables more physiologically relevant human tissue models as to understand host-microbiome interactions, as well as to develop and translate microbiome-based therapeutic treatments for a wide range of pathophysiological conditions of the gut-brain axis


Our fearless leader Dr Roisin Owens has won the prestigious ERC Proof of Concept grant worth €150,000!

"The grant will enable Owens and her team to integrate their 3D human gut tissue model with CN Bio’s PhysioMimix MPS; a next-generation lab benchtop-ready system that reliably bridges the gap between traditional cell culture assays and human studies, to optimise the accuracy and efficiency of bringing new medicines to market. The resulting technology can be used to run fast, automated screening of how drugs or potential drug candidates interact with human gut tissue."


Please read more about it in this news release here! Congrats Roisin!! 


PhD Student Alex Officially Joins the Group! Read more about her in the Bio.


Final year PhD student, Sarah Barron has her first science communications piece published in Advance Science. Read more about it here!


Final year PhD student, Sarah Barron, continues with BEST group's outreach initiative by taking part in 'STEM lunchtime club' at local secondary schools. Her talks involve educating year 7-11 pupils about neuroscience, neurodiversity and about perusing her academic career path, from an underepresented background.



Postdoc Anthie Moysidou giving an excellent talk at the Cambridge Festival on your Body on a Chip. Check it out below!



Lab Alumni Moving to Big Places!

Charalampos (aka Babis) Pitsalidis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi. His research aims to use organic and hybrid electronic materials for the purpose of developing biomimetic structures and devices for monitoring and controlling biological systems at different length scales and complexity levels. Expanding on this, his team focuses on integrating 3D (i.e., scaffold) bioelectronics with engineered cellular constructs & tissues for the development of next generation of biochips.

Ying Fu am a lecturer (Assistant Professor) and chancellor's fellow in the Department for Pure and Applied Chemistry in University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. Her group research interests include on the development and application of novel biosensor for early diagnosis and therapy of various diseases. Her new email:

Janire Saez moved to Spain! She is an Ikerbasque Research Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)/ Her research line focuses on Alternative Developments of Organ-on-chip Devices for Cancer Research by using smart materials, bioelectronics and microfluidics.


PhD Students Reece and Sophie Officially Join the Group. Read more about them in the People section!


New MPhil Students Join the Group. Read more about them in the People section!

Amaury Genovese 

Kate Farrelly 

John Magness 



World Microbiome Day featured excellent speakers and was led by our very own PhD student Anthie Moysidou. Please watch some of the insightful and fascinating lectures here!


Our work featured on the BBC again: Covid on a chip


Yash Mishra presented his 3D blood brain barrier on a chip project at the UK Parliament for an event called STEM for Britain. Read more about it here.

Yash is pictured below with Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner


Alex Boys is awarded a Human Frontier Science Fellowship to develop bioelectronic probes to study neural pathways in the gut brain axis

Alex Boys joined us last year and we are pleased to say he will be staying for quite a bit longer!











Achilleas Savva is awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to study stem cell differentiation on electroactive scaffolds

Achilleas is pictured here with Marie Curie back in 2014! Congratulations Achilleas - we look forward to great things on this project



Priscila Cavassin wins Oral Presentation Prize at Brazilian ACS

Our visiting student from Brazil won best oral presentation prize at the Brazilian ACS. Priscila presented the work that she developed in Cambridge on using Organic Electrochemical Transistors to monitor anaesthetic disruption of lipid membranes. Watch this space for the paper in Advanced Materials Technologies, out any day now!

Summer Social with Gabi Kaminski and her Molecular NeuroScience Group

The BEST group enjoyed a fun afternoon this summer at Newnham College along with CEB colleagues. Burgers and sausages were on the menu (also for vegans and vegetarians...). We played rounders which only got a little bit competitive! We enjoyed hanging out with the MNG guys and look forward to doing it again.


Our Organs-on-chips on the BBC


Roisin is awarded a Suffrage Science Award

Roisin was one of the 12 female scientists and engineers from across the world to be presented with a Suffrage Science award on 8 March 2019, International Women's Day. 

The awards celebrate women in science and engineering and encourage others to enter science and reach senior leadership roles. The 12 award winners were chosen by the previous award holders for their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others. The awards themselves are items of jewellery, inspired by the Suffrage movement, and are passed on as heirlooms from one female scientist to the next.

The hand-crafted scientific heirloom was presented at the Suffrage Science Awards ceremony, held at The Royal Society, London.


Janire wins a Basque Country Postdoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations  to Janire Saez for winning a Postdoctoral Basque Government Fellowship for three years (2019-2022). She will spend two of these years in the BEST group developing 3D organ-on-chip models integrated into microfluidics coupled to bioelectronics for the monitoring of cancer cells. This project is a collaboration between University of Cambridge and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).






Congratulations to Anthie on her runner-up poster prize!

Best Poster Prize – Runner Up: ‘Exploring Human Host-Microbiome Interactions in Health and Disease, part of Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences, 5-7 December 2018, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

Microbiome Day-27th June 2018


Spring MRS 2018: Magali Ferro wins prize at Spring Materials Research Society Meeting in Phoenix Arizona for her amazing 3D scaffold image

17th of March 2018: The BEST group participate at the Cambridge Science Festival

Demonstrators (clockwise) Janire, Donata, Anna-Maria and Roisin had great fun showing our 3D scaffolds to kids of all ages

October 2017: Congratulations to Anna-Maria for winning a L'Oreal Women in Science Fellowship