Applied Biotechnology

The research group core disciplines encompass, biopolymer production, bioprocesses optimisation, environmentally friendly dye remediation and green chemistry. 

The Biopolymers group specialises in the production of biodegradable, biocompatible, lipopolysaccharide free polyhydroxyalkanoates. These polymers can be utilised in a wide range of applications including green adhesives, hard (bone, cartilage) and soft (heart, skin, craniofacial) tissue engineering, drug delivery, dental applications and wound healing. The molecular enzymology of the polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase from Bacillus cereus SPV is also being pursued.

The scaling up of bioprocesses and the enhancement of product concentration has been approached in a novel manner using quorum sensing molecules. In the area of green chemistry extensive process development has been used for the large scale production of oxidative enzymes such as laccases which have been utilised for bioremediation of waste water from the dye industry. Other areas of interest include biorefineries and biofuel production using algae, stem cell technology including mesenchymal stem cells and cord blood stem cells.

Applications of stem cells to areas such as tissue engineering are being pursued within the group.