An applied, engineered oscillation inspired by the natural oscillatory behaviour of HIV

12 December 2017

We are pleased to announce that Dr Darren Nesbeth and Dr M. Carmen Romano have been awarded a Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering Inspiration Grant to perform a collaboratory project – "An applied, engineered oscillation inspired by the natural oscillatory behaviour of HIV" between UCL and University of Aberdeen.

Gene and cell therapies holds considerable promise for the treatment of illnesses such as cancer and muscular dystrophy. Currently the cost of manufacturing the lentiviral vectors required for therapy are prohibitively expensive for widespread clinical application due to low and variable virus yields.  

This project takes inspiration from nature and specifically the mechanisms used by HIV to ensure long term production of viral particles in vivo. The project aims to show the feasibility of engineering an oscillatory circuit into the cell lines used industrially for lentivirus production in order to facilitate long-term cultures and increase productivity.  

The proof-of-principle results obtained will support a full EPSRC grant proposal and will ultimately contribute to the translation of gene therapies into commercial products for the benefit of patients who need them.  

People

  • Dr M. Carmen Romano, Department of Physics, Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr Darren N. Nesbeth, Lecturer, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London
An applied, engineered oscillation inspired by the natural oscillatory behaviour of HIV