Work with Us

Engineered Biomimetic Material

Engineered Biomimetic Material – Cell Adhesion/Differentiation

Quote: KT120480

The Challenge

Successful growth, maintenance and repair of cells, particularly in three-dimensional (3D) culture is dependent on appropriate surface coatings and scaffolds to enable attachment, migration and differentiation when and where required. Creating these materials can be laborious with inconsistent results.

The Solution

In collaboration with Orla Protein Technologies Ltd, Newcastle University has developed a synthetic protein polymer which can create a range of biomimetic materials. These include surface coatings, hydrogels and tissue scaffolds. Based upon an inert and robust bacterial protein it is simple and economic to manufacture.

The protein polymer is immediately suitable as a synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) for cell culture/tissue engineering. Multiple cell adhesion, recognition or differentiation signals can be engineered into the protein to mimic natural cellular environments. Protease degradation (e.g. MMP) can be designed in. Alternatively, unmodified polymer can be used to create minimally interacting scaffolds to inhibit differentiation. It can be used in 2D or 3D cell culture/tissue engineering.

Benefits over current solutions:
• No intrinsic cell interaction properties (biologically 'non stick')
• Multiple identical or different cell adhesion recognition motifs can be introduced giving a multifunctional ECM
• Safe (non-animal source protein)
• High yield bacterial expression system
• Robust and protease resistant

The Opportunity

Application Description:

Wound healing
The synthetic ECM hydrogel has applications in promoting inward cell migration to wounds
Metastasis model research tool Protease cleavage sites can be introduced alongside cell adhesion sequences to assay cell invasion in a 3D context.
Micro carriers Fully biomimetic suspension culture of adherent cell lines
Selective cell culture Precise control of cell adhesion

We are interested in partnering with industry in the technical development of the polymer for different opportunities.

Intellectual Property Status

The technology is protected by patent applications filed in USA, Europe, Japan and China.

Title: Recombinant polypeptide
Patent application no: US2015299272 (USA), EP2858675 (Europe), JP2015522566 (Japan) and CN104703627 (China)
Filing Date: 11th June 2013
Applicant: University of Newcastle upon Tyne


Dr Geraint Lewis, Enterprise Team, Research & Enterprise Services, Newcastle University, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK