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Science news

PeptiGelDesign relaunches as Manchester BIOGEL


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Alderley Park based PeptiGelDesign will relaunch as Manchester BIOGEL in a move that reflects the wider reach of the company and growth success since launching in 2014.

The company provides PeptiGels – a range of highly sophisticated peptide hydrogels that meet individual cell needs. These hydrogels are specifically designed to improve the quality of data and shorten research time necessary for cell and tissue engineering, regenerative medicine implants and developing tissue models for drug toxicity testing.

PeptiGelDesign joined the Alderley Park ecosystem 4 years ago and since then have gone from strength to strength. The company’s origins date back to near 20 years ago when Professors Aline Miller (Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer) and Alberto Saiani (Co-founder and Scientific Director),  at The University of Manchester, began perfecting their peptide-based technology platform to produce hydrogel ideal for 3D cell culture. The PeptiGels developed are unlike any other hydrogel on the market: they’re made from purely synthetic peptides, minimising batch to batch variability and allowing the community to move away from animal derived hydrogels. The 3D scaffold is made up of a dense network of nano-sized fibres to mimic a cells natural environment and the products have been designed to be non-toxic, biocompatible and biodegradable. What’s more, the hydrogels are transparent, and therefore compatible with most cell staining, imaging and counting procedures; and the shear thinning properties allow PeptiGels to be printed, injected and sprayed for various 3D cell culture applications.

In 2014, due to a demand for their materials, they launched PeptiGelDesign Ltd in collaboration with Guillaume Saint-Pierre, which enabled other academic researchers to use their family of five hydrogels to find the most suitable PeptiGel for their needs. The superior performance of PeptiGels, compared to other hydrogels on the market, has enabled customers to develop a wide range of applications, including co-culture systems for toxicity testing or a platform to deliver cells to damaged areas of the body for regenerative medicine, with genuine potential for clinical translation.  

 

‘I tried other peptide-based hydrogels, but these either had too much batch to batch variation or were only suitable for 2D cell culture. With PeptiGel products I was able to grow 3D cell cultures with the desired morphology to aid my research on a variety of cell and tissue types.’ Julie Gough, Professor of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.

Being part of the Alderley Park ecosystem has allowed the team to build connections with other tenant companies as well as members of the BioCity Expert Network. Plus, being able to have lunch outside in the Spring with the new born lambs always helps to boost energy and productivity.

Funding has been key to their success and in November 2017, the company received significant investment from Kero Group, industrial investors backing cutting edge technologies. This funding has enabled growth, bringing marketing, sales and intellectual property specialists on board as well as expanding the scientific expertise. The new, larger team will widen the remit - offering superior hydrogel scaffolds to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetic industries, in addition to academia. The relaunch of PeptiGelDesign as Manchester BIOGEL will reflect the wider reach of the company, whilst recognising the world leading research on which it is founded coming out of Manchester.

Aline Miller, Chief Operations Officer at Manchester BIOGEL stated ‘It is an exciting time for us as the relaunch will provide a high-quality backdrop to demonstrate our leading hydrogel scaffolds – PeptiGels.’

Manchester BIOGEL launches on Monday 25th June. Call +44 (0) 1625 238800 or email info@manchesterbiogel.com to find out more.

Katie Droogan