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Research

Our three core aspects of research include:

Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing

As part of this research, we are currently running projects around:

  • Enzyme discovery and engineering, using in silico modelling and machine learning, for the more efficient breaking-down of household waste and production of value-added chemicals
  • Synthetic biology to adapt existing model-organisms and increase the use of non-model organisms as robust microbial cell factories for efficient waste conversion to energy and high-value chemicals 
  • The development of efficient sugar and gas fermentations systems for energy and high-value chemical production from solid waste and microbial fuels cell for energy production from liquid waste.

Digital Fabrication of Biohybrid Materials

Here, we are developing advanced biomaterials and digital fabrication processes that utilise self-assembly, self-healing and the dynamic responsive properties of biological cells. Current projects include

  • Engineered bacteria as computation agents in the design and manufacture of new structures
  • Bacterial spore-based active hygromorph materials
  • Robotic moulding – a material making process through guiding the growth of the fungi
  • Development of functionally graded bacterial cellulose by co-culturing bioprocess
  • Living manufacture – principles for a microbial 3D printer and in-situ growth of biocomposites for off-world building materials.

Health Technology Innovation

As part of this research, we currently run projects around:

  • Integration of technologies to detect microbial changes in both indoor and outdoor built-environments using targeted and untargeted nucleic acid sequencing
  • Using panels of biological surrogates to model the movement of microbiota around and between built environment spaces
  • Using data from microbial surveillance to allow real time augmentation and remediation of simple and complex bacterial communities using bacteriophages. All approaches aim to survey, capture, remediate or enrich microbial diversity that offer links to human health.

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