The development of new medical devices and drugs is based on a costly and often ineffective system of testing safety and efficacy which is decades out of date. As a result there is a serious attrition in the delivery of new healthcare products which is damaging to industry, the economy and the health of the nation.
To address this need, a key bioengineering theme at Queen Mary University of London is Predictive Bioengineering in which innovative approaches are developed for testing safety and efficacy of healthcare products including pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, medical devices and other therapeutic solutions. The resulting bioengineering models and methodologies will provide ethically acceptable, cheaper, faster and more reliable predictive testing which will advance the delivery of healthcare innovation.
In particular activity is focused on two areas:
- Organ-on-a-chip models that mimic the physiological and pathological environment of different body organs for drug testing; and
- Computational and experimental testing methodologies that predict the performance of biomaterials and medical devices.
To develop these models and methodologies this research in predictive bioengineering is underpinned by multidisciplinary expertise in biomaterials, microfluidics, biomechanics, sensors and computational modelling. We are supported by industrial stakeholder partners including those wishing to use these bioengineering testing platforms (e.g. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Baxter Healthcare, DePuy and Wellspect), as well as those developing them (e.g. EmulateBio, Kirstall, Reprocell Europe, BiogelX, Axosim Technologies, CN Bio Innovations and FormFormForm).
Existing projects in this area include the development of organ-on-a-chip and other in vitro models for the study of cancer, cartilage injury, and fibrosis; the development of orthopaedic biomaterial testing platforms and new cardiovascular device testing.