January Newsletter

UK Distributor Announced

We are pleased to announce that Appleton Woods have agreed to be our UK distributor partner to sell our range of synthetic peptide hydrogels –PeptiGels®. These products are specifically designed for use in 3D cell culture, spheroid and organoid growth and are chemically defined and formulated to meet every cells’ need and can be used in 2D and 3D cell culture. The benefits of the PeptiGels® are that they are animal free, and chemically defined with no batch to batch variation so produce consistent results time after time. They can be used at room temperature for the mixing of cells and plate coating, so they are convenient to work with. They are modular so you can tailor the mechanical and functional environment to your specific cell type. Being transparent they are also compatible with most imaging techniques which is a real benefit that many researchers will want as a product feature.

Professor Aline Miller – CEO of Manchester BIOGEL –said, “We are very excited to establish this relationship with Appleton Woods and work together with new customers to extend the reach and application areas of our PeptiGels®.”

Dr. Stewart Sale – Reagent Product Specialist at Appleton Woods commented, “This is an exciting opportunity for both companies, and we look forward to working together to make these products available to our customers working in the 3D cell culture field and improving their in vitro model systems to generate more clinically relevant and reproducible results.”

Functionalised PepiGels® to mimic in vivo ECM

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a vital component for the growth and function of any cell. It typically contains a mix of fibrous and non-fibrous proteins such as collagen, laminin and fibronectin, proteoglycans, growth factors and signalling molecules that provide both structural and biochemical support for cells. The composition of the ECM varies between different tissues and to translate the in vivo to the in vitro, the properties of the natural ECM often need to be mimicked in the in vitro 3D scaffold to obtain in vivo like cell behaviour and really elucidate and understand cell biological pathways.

Manchester BIOGEL’s biologically relevant and chemically defined PeptiGels® and PeptiInks® offer the ability to be fined tuned to closely mimic the complex ECM seen within the different tissues, allowing the growth of any tissue-specific cell type. Our standard catalogue of functionalised hydrogels contain the common biologically active groups of RGD (fibronectin), IKVAV (laminin), YIGSR (laminin) and GFOGER (collagen) to support different biological functions. We are not limited to these alone and often create mixed compositions and/or bespoke functional hydrogels for customers. All our functionalised peptides are animal-free and chemically defined and allow you to recapitulate the in vivo ECM platform, thereby enhancing the physiologically relevant phenotypes of cells in culture.

To find out more about our functionalised gels, or ask if we can include a specific functionality,  please  get in touch through info@manchesterbiogel.com.

Ashley’s experience of volunteering at the COVID-19 Lighthouse Lab testing centre

Earlier this year to support the national fight against COVID-19, and in response to the growing national need to increase the number of coronavirus tests taking place each day, the Government set up a national diagnostic lab network across the UK. These are known as The Light House Labs, and one of these is literally next door to us at MBG in Alderley Park, Cheshire. When the call for experienced workers to join this initiative was released our Production Scientist, Ash, was enthused and decided to seize the opportunity to make a difference in a unique environment.

Here, Ash tells us of his experience working there over the past 3 months:

“My time at the Lighthouse COVID-19 testing was enjoyable, and whilst learning new skills and meeting a wide range of like-minded scientists, it involved a lot of hard work to meet the government’s set quota. A daily working schedule involved a combined team effort testing a high number of nasopharyngeal swab samples and analysing results, in an efficient and effective manner allowing for fast feedback to the patients and the NHS. Together, this allowed guided decisions to be taken by the health care system, the patients and the general public to curtail the further spread of the disease. Working at the UK Lighthouse COVID 19 Lab exposed me to a wide range of scientific disciplines and pushed me to broaden my current skillset. I am proud to be an employee of Manchester BIOGEL, and in particular that it is providing its synthetic hydrogels for the growth of cells suitable for COVID-19 studies to research groups across the UK. As I resume back to my normal company role in July, I am very enthusiastic to work on the new opportunities around COVID-19 related projects and I believe together, we can combat the deadly virus.”

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