Enabling Technologies

A hallmark of the group's research activity has been to develop and exploit new biophysical approaches to access reactions and dynamics across multiple time scales. The group has established a variety of stopped flow devices including SF UV-visible, SF FTIR, SF variable pressure, variable magnetic field SF and cryogenic SF. This is complemented by equilibrium perturbation methods (e.g. temperature jump spectroscopy), conventional laser flash photolysis, and ultrafast pump-probe UV-visible and fluorescence up conversion methods. We work closely with instrument manufacturers to develop new capabilities for studying enzyme and light-activated systems.

In the area of enzyme redesign we have developed high throughput robotics platforms for enzyme evolution, automating cell growth, enzyme purification and enzyme assay (dynamic/kinetic and also analytical/product analysis). This is part of a wider programme in the MIB to integrate a series of synthetic biology platforms in which biological components are being assembled through pathway engineering to provide novel solutions for microbial small molecules and fuels production.