Division of Bioengineering

Research Impact

The Division of Bioengineering has a long standing track record of Internationally-leading research activity resulting in translational industrial and clinical impact. In addition the division is involved in a diverse range of activities delivering impact through Public Engagement.

The following are examples of some of the outstanding impact activities in bioengineering at Queen Mary:

Bone Graft Substitute Materials

Research undertaken at Queen Mary has resulted in the development of a raft of bioactive synthetic bone graft substitute materials with clinically proven capacity to support the regeneration of new bone.

This world-leading research has resulted in two spin-out companies, ApaTech (founded in 2000, acquired in 2010 by Baxter International) and Progentix Orthobiology (founded in 2004, Technology acquired by NuVasive Inc. in 2009)

These novel materials represent a significant fraction of the global market due to their ability to facilitate faster recovery for the patient while negating the need for these patients to undergo a second operative procedure to extract donor bone graft, risking the associated additional complications of infection and post-operative pain. 

Together, these bioactive bone graft substitute materials have now been used to treat 100’s of thousands of patients in over 30 countries.

Dr Karin Hing has been heavily involved in the research and the development of ApaTech (see the short film - right). In recognition of her research Dr Hing has been awarded the prestigious Kroll Medal and Prize from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal (she's also appeared on the BBC TV - Bang Goes the Theory!). 


Image of bone graft substitute material, Actifuse, used in spinal surgery.

Tooth Pastes to Remineralize Teeth and Fight Caries

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from The Institute of Dentistry and the School of Engineering and Materials at Queen Mary, have developed novel re-mineralising toothpastes to treat dentine hypersensitivity and protect teeth from tooth decay.

Led by internationally renowned glass scientist, Prof Robert Hill, materials scientists and bioengineers have optimised and patented a series of glass formulations that can be incorporated as micron-scale particles into toothpastes where they dissolve in saliva to release calcium, phosphate and fluorine ions in the correct proportions for up to 12 hours to form hydroxycarbonate-apatite or more acid resistant fluorapatite to repair eroded enamel and block any open dentine tubules that may be responsible for sensitivity to exposure hot and cold drinks and food.

This underpinning research has led to the spin-out of Biomin Technologies Ltd., and the successful commercialisation of BioMin™ fluorine free and fluorine containing toothpastes which are on sale in the UK, Germany, Australia, China and India.


Examples of BioMin toothpaste developed by scientists and bioengineers at Queen Mary.

Bioengineering Public Engagement

Bioengineering interactive at the Centre of the CellThe award winning Centre of the Cell science centre at Queen Mary University of London, hosts bioengineering interactives related to tissue engineering, in particular the development of tissue engineering cartilage and tissue engineered skin. Staff have also presented public lectures through the outreach programme at the Centre of the Cell.

Bioengineering interactive game at Explore HealthBioengineering staff at Queen Mary have developed an online interactive game raising awareness of biomedical engineering for school children. The interactive feature on the Explore Health website and has received over 50,000 views since its launch.

Bioengineering film for primary schoolsProf Knight has been filmed by the YES Programme as part of a series of films explaining the importance of maths and science in a wide variety of jobs. In this film Prof Knight explains about Biomedical Engineering as a rewarding and important career.