About the Centre
Students in our internationally renowned department are able to make full use of over £30m of investment into comprehensive and unique facilities. All our leading-edge facilities are underpinned by state-of-the-art analytical equipment and experiences obtained from these world class facilities make Research Engineers from the centre much sought after.
Fully Equipped Pilot Plant
Central to the department’s whole bioprocess theme are the large scale bioprocessing facilities available in the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE). This new building was the result of a £20 million investment throughout the 1990s with funding from industry, government and various foundations. The ACBE houses pilot scale bioprocess equipment, from fermentation through downstream processing to formulation, that enable studies at a scale close to those used in the bioindustry.
In 2002 the Centre for Micro Biochemical Engineering was constructed within the main UCL engineering building as a result of a £4.5 million investment from competitively funded research grants and a Gatsby Foundation award. These new laboratory and computing suites allow research and training on the integration of rapid small-scale experimental studies with data mining and computer modelling. A range of robotic systems are available to facilitate the rapid engineering of cells and proteins and the high speed acquisition of bioprocess information at the microwell scale.
Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Labs
A series of further investments since 2005 totalling nearly £2 million, including a competitively won Royal Society-Wolfson award, helped establish a Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Unit and related laboratories for the automated analysis of complex cells and tissues. These facilities underpin studies on the growth of human cells and tissue outside the body to be used in repair being undertaken as part of the RegenMed research programme. Most recently a further £2 million investment in a Bioprocess Microfluidics facility will enable studies on the parallel acquisition of bioprocess data on precious biological materials, such as new medicines or human cells for therapy, at an even smaller scale.
Responsive Bioprocessing Facility
In September 2012 UCL Biochemical Engineering introduced STAMP (Single-use Technology for Advanced Manufacturing Partnership) and at the heart of STAMP is the Responsive Bioprocessing Facility (RBF), located in ACBE. The purpose of the RBF is to act as a centre for training and demonstration of single-use technology and to identify the applications of new single-use unit operations and single-use whole bioprocess sequencers. Through both research case studies and training exercises it demonstrates innovative applications of single-use technologies to novel vaccines, regenerative medicines, macromolecular products and the industrial biotechnology sector.