Manufacturing Green Nanoparticles for Efficient Cell Manufacture

  • Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator)
  • Patwardhan, Siddharth (Co-investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


"Material-cell interface, which strongly depends on surface and materials properties, can augment cell growth and is extremely useful in enabling exquisite control of cellular manufacturing. We will address challenges related to the total efficiency of the cell production process starting with nature-inspired manufacture of bespoke green nanomaterials (GN), characterizing these nanoparticles, and evaluating how these materials affect the subsequent cell manufacture. As part of this call, we seek limited proof-of-concept funding 2 years.

In order to manufacture green nanomaterials for efficient cell manufacture, there are following challenges:
- Can we scale up green nanomaterial manufacture so as to be competitive?
- How can we control flow to control manufacturing?
- Can we showcase the application of green silicas for cell manufacture?
- What nanoscale properties make green silicas superior?
We will address these challenges from a unique perspective by collaborating across non-traditional disciplines involving nanomaterials chemistry, fluid dynamics, cell manufacturing and nanotechnology, and combining expertise from two EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing and two EPSRC Manufacturing Fellows.

We have shown that GN, which provide an environmentally friendly approach, are scalable and have promising biomedical applications, while establishing the importance of mixing in nanomaterials scale-up operations. We have also identified strategies to efficient and automated cell manufacturing and developed nano-probes to extensively investigate surfaces and interfaces at the nanoscale. In this project, we aim to build on this success and go significantly beyond to address a number of key challenges to deliver large scale manufacturing of green nanomaterials suitable for cellular manufacture."


Manufacturing Green Nanoparticles for Efficient Cell Manufacture

Key findings

"We have invented a novel process for making nanomaterials using an eco-friendly process. This invention has led to a patent application, see details below.

Benefits of the invention

A biologically inspired 'green' process for the industrial-scale production of silica, with the following potential commercial and environmental benefits:

Production costs -removing the need for calcination, and reactor heating. A recycling step and use of tap water further reduce costs
Capital costs -existing installations can be easily adapted

Higher quality and reproducibility
Greater flexibility in product range which can be manufactured

A process which operates at neutral pH, room T and P, uses tap water as a solvent
Processing times much shorter (5 min reaction time, down from hours and days)
Uses a mild, post-synthetic method of purifying bioinspired silica, avoiding energy-intensive calcination and allows for re-use of the organic material
Incorporates a novel recycling step, which removes much of the burden on the process of treating the process water: it reduces water consumption in the process by up to 90% and 25 fold reduction in amine use."
Effective start/end date22/05/1421/10/17


  • EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council): £153,808.00

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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