Chemistry and Computational Biology of the Niche

The Chemistry and Computational Biology of the Niche (CCBN) facility provides space and resources to link cutting-edge chemistry, bioengineering and computational biology with stem cell research.

CCBN is an interdisciplinary research facility at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Medical Research Council. It provides the space and resources to link cutting-edge chemistry, bioengineering and computational biology with stem cell biology and regenerative medicine research. It is a national collaboration zone for the UK stem cell and regenerative medicine community. Integrated within the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Hub ‘Engineering and Exploiting the Stem Cell Niche’ it aims to support the delivery of novel tools and technologies. Visiting researchers will be able to access dry-computational and wet laboratories with minimal barriers to develop their particular research activity.

The CCBN is currently housed in two research campuses within the University of Edinburgh. At the King’s Buildings campus, the CCBN facility is integrated within the School of Engineering. At the Edinburgh Bioquarter development at Little France, the CCBN facility is contiguous with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and will be relocated to a new custom designed space within the newly funded Centre for Tissue Repair building at Edinburgh Bioquarter.

Access to CCBN can be arranged through proposing collaborative projects with one of the UKRMP Niche Hub investigators or on a pay-per-use cost recovery basis. If you are interested in using CCBN resources, please get in touch.

CCBN equipment includes:

  • Biological/cell handling equipment (BD Fusion) and assessment equipment (Operetta and Columbus Imaging System, and a slide scanner) which are already fully commissioned and in operation within MRC-CRM, benefiting from existing biological/imaging expertise and technical support.
  • Physical fabrication equipment including an electrospinner, housed within the School of Engineering at the King’s Buildings campus, under the supervision and guidance of Dr Anthony Callanan, and a femtosecond laser inscription system (Dr Robert Thompson) and Renishaw InVia Raman Microscope (Dr Colin Campbell), both located within the Queen’s Medical Research Institute atEdinburgh Bioquarter, to create an interface between stem cell biology and cutting edge synthetic materials and imaging science.

Links to pages with equipment details and contacts for enquiries are listed below.

A device which can be used to produce micro and nanofibrous mats using both natural and synthetic polymeric materials

A microscope that can be used to create Raman images from samples including cell cultures and tissue sections

An automated microscope for high content imaging

A laser used to fabricate 3D structures in transparent materials such as glasses, crystals and polymers

A fluorescent and light microscope with automated Slide Scanner and Media Cybernetics