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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P016898/1
Title: The Synthetic Biological Engineering of Self-Assembling Micro-Hearts for Cardiac Drug Testing
Principal Investigator: Balint, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2020 Value (£): 355,703
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Synthetic biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Feb 2017 Eng Fellowship Interviews Feb 2017 Announced
01 Dec 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 1 and 2 December 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Pharmaceutical drug development is increasingly more expensive and time consuming due to the lack of effective laboratory tissue/disease models that accurately predict drug efficacy and safety. In this fellowship I will address this challenge by combining synthetic biology with tissue engineering. Focusing on cardiac drug testing, I will reprogram stem cells through synthetic biology to automatically self-assemble into small, 0.5-1 mm diameter spherical heart tissue constructs (i.e. micro-hearts). Synthetic biologically engineered micro-hearts satisfy all requirements of an effective cardiac drug testing tool, and are cheaper than currently used methodologies. As an effective and inexpensive drug testing tool it will help reduce the cost of drug development, helping the pharmaceutical industry, an £8.8 billion UK sector, survive and thrive. Cheaper and more effective cardiac drugs will lessen the £11 billion burden of cardiovascular diseases on the NHS, and improve the quality of life of the 7 million people living with these diseases today in the UK.
Key Findings
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk