Engineering Blood Diagnostics: Integrated Platforms for Advanced Detection and Analysis

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: College of Engineering


We propose a research platform which will explore and underpin the development of new, integrative diagnostics based on a comprehensive analysis of blood. The integration of rheological and cytometric measurements is essential to the understanding of blood as a sophisticated tissue system in which biological mechanisms, initiated and controlled by cells, interact with complex fluid dynamics. The aim is to provide an appropriate technological platform which will provide biomarkers for the detection and analysis of pathological or therapeutic modifications of blood. These research aims demand multi-disciplinary skills, significant crossover of staff between academic and clinical environments and high risk, exploratory science - all aspects appropriate to the underpinning support of a platform grant.

Planned Impact

The platform will deliver a new generation of medical diagnostics based on the measurement of blood samples. By pursuing integrative solutions for diagnosis of disease that view blood as a complex tissue we will deliver tests that are able to describe the complexity of disease as exhibited in blood properties and thus move forward to patient specific testing and treatment. The primary impact will be on healthcare as delivered through the NHS and our research will be conducted in partnership with a NHS laboratory at Morriston Hospital, Swansea. There will be wider, commercial opportunities and we will develop these through a cluster of Swansea university spin-out companies: Haemair, Haemometrics and Cellometry, that have been set up to provide a translation pathway for methodologies and metrologies based around blood and cell measurement.


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Curran S (2022) A quantitative and spatial analysis of cell cycle regulators during the fission yeast cycle. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Curtis D (2021) Volterra kernels, Oldroyd models, and interconversion in superposition rheometry in Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics

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Piasecka J (2020) Diffusion Mapping of Eosinophil-Activation State. in Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology

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Rees P (2022) Imaging flow cytometry in Nature Reviews Methods Primers

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Rees P (2019) The origin of heterogeneous nanoparticle uptake by cells. in Nature communications

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Wills JW (2020) Image-Based Cell Profiling Enables Quantitative Tissue Microscopy in Gastroenterology. in Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology

Description We have uncovered the statistical relationships that describe the uptake of nanoparticles by biological cells. These allow us to predict the probability of particle-cell interaction and to simulate the nanoparticle dose at single cell level.
Exploitation Route The mathematical tools we have outlined in our papers allow researchers to accurately predict nanoparticle dose in nanotoxicology and nanomedicine studies.
Sectors Agriculture

Food and Drink


Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description EPSRC signposting call
Amount £910,051 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H008683/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2009 
End 03/2014
Description I3S Porto 
Organisation University of Porto
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Interaction with the nanomedicine group led by Professor Ana-Paula Pego. Professors Summers and Rees (PI & CI on Blood diagnostics grant) now take part in an annual Bioimaging workshop, held in Porto every May.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of nanoparticle uptake data relating to nano-pharmaceutical drug delivery. Access to clinical studies using nanoparticle drug-delivery vehicles.
Impact Paper published -
Start Year 2015