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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London

School of Engineering and Materials Science

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New paper out from collaboration with the Lappalainen Lab!

This study shows a surprising role for Calponin-3 in controlling proper contractility of the stress fiber network. Will Hawkes collaborated with the Lappalainen lab and performed nanopillar assays to measure the traction forces that are associated with stress fibers. He could indeed detect higher forces in the knockout cells, as ... [more]

New video report on soft robotics for keyhole surgery

Breaking news on the EU robotics project STIFF-FLOP Research on soft robotics for keyhole surgery by Professor Althoefer, head of Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary (ARQ) is highlighted in the new TechRepublic video on '5 things to know about soft robotics': 1. It doesn't mean pillows. 2. Search and rescue. 3. Medicine. (STIFF-FLOP features ... [more]

Congratulations to Marta Godinho!

Marta Godinho has successfully completed her PhD viva today on a thesis entitled, "Investigating the role of elastin in tendon mechanics." She was supervised by Hazel Screen and Steve Greenwald with significant input from Chavaunne Thorpe, and was recipient of the Bonfield Scholarship though the Institute of Bioengineering. Marta has ... [more]

Liz Tanner attends Service to celebrate Year of Engineering

Liz Tanner was one of the 2000 guests at the ecumenical "National Service to Celebrate the Year of Engineering" held at Westminster Abbey. The address was given by Dame Anne Dowling OM DBDE FRS FREng President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. One of the lessons was read by Chris Grayling, ... [more]

Feng Yang passes her PhD

Feng Yang has successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "The Synergistic effect of Bone Graft Substitute Architecture and Mechanical Environment on hMSCs Responses in vitro". Her research on the development of 3D bioreactors to facilitate in vitro investigation of bone graft substitute bioactivity demonstrated the importance of understanding the in ... [more]

Queen Mary jointly hosts Sino-UK Symposium on advanced materials and structures

Nine academics from Queen Mary University of London presented at the Sino-UK Symposium attended by prestigious researchers and enterprises in thermoelectrics and advanced materials from China and the United Kingdom. The Sino-UK Symposium on Advanced Materials and Structures and UK-China Partnership Forum in Themoelectrics and Clean Energy took place in ... [more]

New article on our research in The Horse

we are excited to see an article in leading equine health magazine "The Horse" talking about our latest research findings and how we are working to understand and manage equine tendinopathy: https://thehorse.com/159937/tendon-problems-in-old-horses-what-goes-wrong/ [more]

Professor Kaspar Althoefer interviewed about robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

Professor Kaspar Althoefer was interviewed about his research on soft robotics for robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. "We wanted to take our inspiration from biology – so octopus tentacles were our inspiration....making something that was made of soft materials, to achieve more dexterous behaviour but also to increase patient safety." The ... [more]

Welcome to Antonios!

We are delighted to welcome Antonios Giannopoulos as a PDRA working on a Dunhill funded project, looking to investigate the early initiation of tendinopathy and why risk increases with ageing.

Professor Screen giving the opening keynote at this year's ISTS conference

Some of the group will be travelling to the 5th International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium (ISTS) next week in Groningen. Prof Screen will give the opening keynote lecture about tendon ageing, where she will describe the ageing changes in the interfascicular matrix and how this may contribute to tendon injury risk [more]

New Paper Accepted

Congratulations to Renjie (Jacky) Lui for the acceptance of his paper "Guided cell attachment via aligned electrospinning of glycopolymers" in MacroMolecular Bioscience. The work constitutes a large part of his PhD which he submitted earlier this month. Lui R, Becer CR, Screen HRC (2018) Guided cell attachment via aligned electrospinning of ... [more]

Liz Tanner Returns to QMUL

After just over 11 years at the University of Glasgow, Liz Tanner has returned to School of Engineering and Materials Science to become the first Bonfield Professor of Biomedical Materials. Liz's first job was as a post doc in Bill Bonfield's Biomaterials Group, before the foundation of the IRC in Biomedical ... [more]

Organ-on-a-Chip Network launch a great success

The UK Organ-on-a-Chip Network official launch took place last week. On the 6th of September there was a conference day, held in conjunction with the BioMedEng18 Conference, taking place at Imperial College London and followed by a launch day at Queen Mary’s Graduate Centre on Friday the 7th. This ... [more]

Scientists design material that can store energy like an eagle’s grip

What do a flea and an eagle have in common? They can store energy in their feet without having to continuously contract their muscles to then jump high or hold on to prey. Now scientists at Queen Mary University of London and University of Cambridge have created materials that can ... [more]

Mechanical regulation of primary cilia in tendon cells suggests a novel feedback mechanism controlling tendon health and mechanosensitivity.

New research from Prof Martin Knight and Prof Hazel Screen's group at Queen Mary University of London reveals a novel feedback mechanism regulating tendon health and homeostasis during mechanical loading. The study published in Scientific Reports investigates primary cilia in tendon cells subject to physiological and pathological mechanical loading. Primary ... [more]

Scientists develop material that could regenerate dental enamel

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have developed a new way to grow mineralised materials which could regenerate hard tissues such as dental enamel and bone. Enamel, located on the outer part of our teeth, is the hardest tissue in the body and enables our teeth to function for ... [more]

Queen Mary awarded funding to build instrument which will revolutionise monitoring of cellular processes

Queen Mary University of London has been awarded funding to lead a joint project to build an instrument which will revolutionise the monitoring of cellular processes in tissues that line organs. The grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has a total value of £823,329 over three years, ... [more]

Technology network awarded funding to capture musculoskeletal degeneration

Queen Mary University of London - as part of a group of universities, hospitals and research centres - has been awarded funding to create a network seeking to develop new, high energy imaging methods to capture the dynamic biochemical and biophysical processes in biological samples. The human body is highly ... [more]

Queen Mary Awarded Funding to Establish Organ-on-a-Chip UK Network

Queen Mary University of London has been awarded funding to lead a UK network in the development of ‘Organ-on-a-chip’ devices. The network will be part of a major new Research Councils UK (RCUK) funding venture, Technology Touching Life [1], which aims to foster interdisciplinary research into innovative technology in the health ... [more]

Dan Rowson passes his PhD on the effect of mechanical loading on tendon cells

Congratulations to Dan Rowson who passed his PhD viva. Dan's PhD thesis investigated the effect of mechanical stimulation on tendon cells in order to better understand the process of tendon injury. In particular, Dan investigated the effect of mechanical forces on tiny hair-like cellular structures structures, known as primary cilia. ... [more]

New Dunhill Medical Trust grant awarded to Prof Hazel Screen to investigate the development of tendon injury with ageing.

Professor Hazel Screen has been awarded a Dunhill Medical Trust grant of £190,000, to investigate the causes of age-related tendon injury. Tendon injuries are extremely painful and highly debilitating, and become increasingly common as we age, where they can dramatically affect quality-of-life. Developing treatments is of the utmost importance, but scientists ... [more]

Storytelling project for engineers and young east Londoners wins funding

A Queen Mary University of London project which aims to give engineers the skills to create digital stories about how their work can improve the world has received funding from the Ingenious Awards. ‘Engineer the Story’ will bring together engineers to work alongside disadvantaged young people from east London who ... [more]

New animation from the British Heart Foundation shows how SEMS research into tiny tech is helping to treat heart failure

Heart failure affects an estimated 920,000 people in the UK. It means that your heart can't pump blood as well as it should do. One of the most common causes of heart failure is a heart attack. After a heart attack the damaged heart muscle can become stiff. This means your ... [more]

Institute of Mechanical Engineers confirms accreditation of SEMS programmes

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has confirmed the accreditation details for our programmes following their re-accreditation visit to SEMS in November. Students completing an IMechE accredited degree are deemed to have met part or all of the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered or Incorporated Engineer and are ... [more]

Exciting New Paper on the Tumour Microenvironment

A new paper published in the journal Cancer Discovery, by Prof Martin Knight and colleagues describes, for the first time, an evolving human metastatic microenvironment. The work led by Prof Fran Balkwill measures gene expression, matrisome proteomics, cytokine and chemokine levels, cellularity, extracellular matrix organization, and relates this to changes ... [more]

Best 3rd Year Project Student Awards Awarded at the Spring Industrial Liaison Forum

At the Spring Industrial Liaison Forum (ILF) every 3rd year project student was invited to submit a poster on their research. The best 50 posters were displayed to the visitors and the students competed for the best 3rd Year Project Prize. The judges deliberated at length and decided to split the ... [more]

Best MSc Student Project Poster

At the Spring Industrial Liaison Forum (ILF) all the MSc students were invited to submit a poster on their research topics. The best posters were invited to compete for the DePuy Synthes' MSc student Prize. The standard was once again very high this year but after careful deliberations the award ... [more]

Marie Curie Fellowship Award for Dr Luming Zhao

Congratulations to Dr Luming Zhao, who has been awarded a two-year H2020 Marie Curie Fellowship (€200k), supervised by Dr Lei Su, Prof Martin Knight and Dr Manoj Ramachandran. He will develop novel compact optical fibre lasers for clinical imaging and laser surgery. [more]

Best MEng Group in SEMS Award

At the Spring Industrial Liaison Forum (ILF) event all the 4th year MEng group project students in SEMS had the opportunity to present their projects and compete for the DePuy Synthes Group Project Prize. The standard was once again very high this year but after careful deliberations the award for ... [more]

SEMS Industrial Liaison Forum is a Great Success

The Spring SEMS Industrial Liaison Forum was a very popular event again this year. In the morning the annual taught student showcase took place in the Octagon which was followed in the afternoon by a wide range of alumni lead panel and networking sessions. There was also an Industrial Advisory ... [more]

Professor Gleb Sukhorukov reaches an h-index of 95

Congratulations to Professor Gleb Sukhorukov whose h-index has recently reached 95, as per Google Scholar. The h-index is a numerical indicator of how productive and influential a researcher is. Gleb is author and co-author of more than 300 papers whose impact is reflected in more than 30 000 citations of his works. He pioneered ... [more]

Cells ‘walk’ on liquids a bit like geckos

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have discovered that cells can ‘walk’ on liquids a bit like the way geckos stick to other surfaces. Cells are typically grown on solid materials, such as tissue culture plastic, degradable polymers and bioceramics. It is thought that the strong mechanical properties of ... [more]

New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have developed a printing technique using cells and molecules normally found in natural tissues to create constructs that resemble biological structures. These structures are embedded in an ink which is similar to their native environment and opens the possibility to make them behave ... [more]

New grant on mechanobiology of bone tumours

Dr Stefaan Verbruggen has recently joined the bioengineering group at Queen Mary on a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship. Stefaan is working in Prof Martin Knight's research group investigating the role of mechanical forces in bone cancer and the involvement of primary cilia. Stefaan's project is entitled 'META-DORM: Mechanobiology of ... [more]

New Published Research: Cells in the heart sense stiffness by measuring contraction forces and resting tension simultaneously

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have identified a new mechanism in which adhesive structures within the cells of the heart sense stiffness through muscle contractions and resting tension at the same time. The study, published in Developmental Cell, further shows that the resting tension in the heart cells ... [more]

Cells in the heart sense stiffness by measuring contraction forces and resting tension simultaneously

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have identified a new mechanism in which adhesive structures within the cells of the heart sense stiffness through muscle contractions and resting tension at the same time. The study, published in Developmental Cell, further shows that the resting tension in the heart cells ... [more]

New molecular printing technology could recreate complex chemical environments that resemble the human body

New patterning technology which could open opportunities to recreate complex biological environments has been developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). '3DEAL' is a simple and inexpensive fabrication technique able to generate complex molecular patterns within soft matter, such as hydrogels, with microscale resolution and up ... [more]

PhD success for Dr Wei Ding

Congratulations to Dr Wei Ding who passed his PhD viva on the 31st of October 2017. Wei worked with Professor Wen Wang and Dr Mario Orsi on molecular dynamic simulation of lipid bilayer membranes. He was jointly funded by QMUL and the China Scholarship Council. During his PhD study, Wei has ... [more]

Study reveals how manipulation of primary cilia may improve cartilage tissue engineering

A new paper from Prof Knight's group shows how expansion of cartilage cells for tissue engineering disrupts primary cilia expression inhibiting associated cellular signalling. Primary cilia are specialised, hair-like structures found singly in the majority of cell types where they coordinate a variety of cell processes important for tissue development, ... [more]

Research paper identifies the secret life of collagen

Dr Gupta and Prof Knight have just published exciting results which cast light on how cartilage is able to withstand the demanding mechanical environment of the joint and may eventually help to explain why cartilage breaks down with ageing or arthritis. Collagen changes its crystallinity in response to physical forces, ... [more]

Repair of fetal membranes could reduce preterm births

Life-long medical conditions and disabilities associated with preterm birth could be prevented with a new bioengineering approach led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Bioengineers from SEMS working together with clinical practitioners have potentially found a way to reduce preterm births and prevent early deaths of young ... [more]

PhD student David Barrett wins 2016 Malcolm Ferguson-Smith Young Investigator award

Congratulations to our PhD student David Barrett, who has won the prestigious 2016 Malcolm Ferguson-Smith Young Investigator Award for his article published in the October 2016 issue of the Prenatal Diagnosis journal. The title of David's article is “Connexin 43 is overexpressed in human fetal membrane defects after fetoscopic surgery”. The Young Investigator ... [more]

Research to heal fetal membranes receives funding from Great Ormond Street and Sparks Charity.

Dr Tina Chowdhury has been awarded a project grant by GOSH and Sparks charity (£148, 862). The project will develop a novel therapy to heal fetal membrane defects in the womb with Anna David (fetal medicine professor, UCL), Alvaro Mata (nanotechnology professor, SEMS), Jan Deprest (fetal surgeon/professor, Leuven), Dan Bader (biomechanics ... [more]

Virtual Lab project wins prestigious higher education award

The Virtual Lab, a platform that allows students to learn lab skills in bioengineering and the life sciences, has won the Gold Award at the Life Sciences category. The Awards celebrate innovative higher education pedagogies which enhance learning and employability across the globe. The Virtual Lab uses the latest games ... [more]

The Virtual Lab shortlisted for prestigious higher education award

The Virtual Lab, a platform that allows students to learn lab skills in bioengineering and the life sciences has been nominated for the e-Learning Innovation category in the Reimagine Education Awards 2016. Dr Tina Chowdhury, Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine at the School of Engineering and Materials Science, said: “I’m ... [more]

Opening young minds to bioengineering

A pioneering scheme called The Bioengineering Experience, developed for school children to explore advances in science, engineering and materials hosted a group of ten-year olds from St Joseph’s in the Park returning for their second visit to Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Led by Dr Tina Chowdhury from ... [more]

New generation of synthetic bone grafts created

Scientists led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have developed a new type of synthetic bone graft that boosts the body’s own ability to regenerate bone tissue and could produce better outcomes for patients. The research, which is published in the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine ... [more]

The Bioengineering Experience 2015

Dr Tina Chowdhury's new fillm called "The Bioengineering Experience" can be seen here:

The bioengineering experience 2015

Children aged 10 from St Joseph’s in the Park visited the Institute of Bioengineering and experienced real, hands on lab activities at the School of Engineering and Materials Science. The project funded by the Center for Public Engagement, was a fantastic event encouraging young people to experience bioengineering first hand. ... [more]

Can a protein help to protect osteoarthritic joints? Dr Tina Chowdhury and team investigate

For more information on this story, please see the interview on Youtube with Dr Nick Peake, one of the researchers involved in the project.