First international Bio-Sensing Technology Conference

Issue date: 02 November 2009

Arrays of screen printed electrodes used as electrochemical biosensors. First international Bio-Sensing Technology Conference
Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 November 2009 Bristol Marriott Hotel

What do llama antibodies, earthworms and electronics have in common? The answer is that sometimes the most unlikely companions can result in brilliant life saving tools made possible by the limitless potential of bio-sensing technology.

Bio-sensing technologies have become a key component in the development of tools to aid disease diagnosis, environmental analysis, food safety, animal welfare and security systems. Essentially biosensors are the fusion of biological systems with electronics to create tools with life enhancing and sometimes life saving capabilities.

In reflection of the global marketplace for these technologies the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology (IBST) at the University of the West of England, a world leader in bio-sensing research, has convened an international conference to be held in Bristol next week.

Over 60% of delegates attending are from overseas research institutes and companies all eager to attend for this unique opportunity to share knowledge and to glean commercial opportunities to exploit findings.

The conference will look in some detail at recent developments in biomarkers, system integration, sensor technologies and commercial opportunities data handling and instrumentation.

Professor Richard Luxton, Director of IBST at UWE, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the first ever conference in this area of research and thrilled at the extent of international interest and participation. UWE has a world leading research reputation in bio-sensing technology with academics leading projects that benefit society in many ways. The conference is a tribute to the hard work of the Institute Co-Director, Dr Janice Kiely, an Electronics Engineer, Dr Lena Doran, Project Coordinator and Denise Hope the Institute Marketing Officer.

“Bio-sensing is essentially about the interaction of biology with electronic systems. By harnessing interactions researchers have almost limitless potential to develop systems and devices that help us all live longer, healthier and safer lives. Globally industries from diverse factions are looking to bio-sensing research expertise to help solve problems through the creation of tools and products that are both life enhancing and at best can be life savers!”

Devices and tests used by us all in everyday life that result from bio-sensing technology research include pregnancy testing kits and on the spot diagnostic tools for blood and urine tests used by medical practitioners. Projects currently taking place at UWE include ongoing development of sensors to determine rot in food to reduce contamination of fresh food during storage, tools to improve meat quality and tools to help detect incontinence. There is also research into novel sensors for the rapid measurement of metal ions in biological fluids and the use of image analysis techniques to study respiration. In other areas of research glowing bacteria are being used in food safety applications and electronic noses are being developed to detect infections and cancer.

The conference is being organised by the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology (IBST) at UWE who are working in partnership with Elsevier, publisher of 'Biosensor and Bioelectronics' journal and the World Biosensors Congress to bring together academics and industry leaders from all over the globe.

Presentations from leading specialists will highlight new opportunities in bio-sensing technologies, opportunities to share best practice in the integration of technologies for bio-sensing, an exhibition of leading edge commercial technology and a poster forum for unveiling new research ideas and concepts.

Mr David Gillatt, Bristol Urological Institute, North Bristol NHS Trust, UK will give a talk on biomarkers; Dr Frances Ligler, Centre for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA will lead the session on System Integration; Professor Marco Mascini, Department of Chemistry, University of Florence, Italy will talk about sensor technology. Professor Anthony P F Turner, Cranfield Health, Cranfield University, UK will highlight commercial opportunities and Dr Jason R Betley, Illumina, USA will speak on data handling and instrumentation.

Steve West, UWE Vice-Chancellor confirms the critical importance of the work of IBST, he said, “The Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology is one of the key research areas for which UWE is becoming internationally renowned. The fact that IBST is hosting the first international conference is good news in that it highlights the fact that the Institute has the recognition from academic and industrial peers to host a successful event of this kind."

For more information and the full conference programme please go to the Biosensing Conference website.


Editors notes:

The Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology (IBST) at UWE is the first of its type in the UK and was launched in 2008. IBST has formed academic and industrial partnerships to address the technological challenges from the development of novel technology for detection and measurement of biological systems to the integration of biological systems into novel sensing technology.

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