Vaccine Pills and Barcode Diagnostics: Simple Technology Solutions to Complex Biomedical Problems

Guest Speaker:
Dr Alexander Edwards (School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, UK)
Dr Sini George (School of Pharmacy, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Fri, 11. November 2016, 09:00 h - 10:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​

My research aims to identify unmet medical needs, analyse the underlying bioscience, and then solve them using simple, cost-effective technology. Our microfluidics research addresses the challenge of current diagnostic tests often being too slow, having low performance or being expensive. To address this, we are developing simple devices for portable, low-cost, point of care diagnostics from a novel melt-extruded microstructured material called Micro Capillary Film (MCF). This material has unique properties that allow high performance lab tests to be completed very fast and outside the laboratory. Tests that can be performed in MCF range from immunoassays to measure biomarkers, to antibiotic resistance tests. Conventional vaccines require injection, refrigerated distribution, and challenging manufacturing processes. New vaccines against emerging infections are slow and expensive to develop. I am developing simple technologies that allow rapid, low-cost manufacture of customised vaccines against emerging and existing infections..


With a background in fundamental immunology combined with expertise in biochemical engineering, I am an interdisciplinary scientist with broad interests spanning applied immunology to miniaturised bioanalysis. Following a PhD in the immunology of microbial recognition at Cancer Research UK, and postdoctoral research on T cell memory at University of Cambridge, I switched fields to biochemical engineering by completing a postdoc at the Chemical Engineering Department, Cambridge. I joined Reading School of Pharmacy in 2010, and my two main research fields are the development of affordable microfluidics, and formulation of complex biologic therapeutics. As well as leading my research group at Reading, I co-founded Capillary Film Technology Ltd to develop diagnostic products that solve unmet medical needs, using micro capillary film technology.

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