Impact Lead for Pharmacy Research Division
Areas of interest
With a background in fundamental immunology combined with expertise in biochemical engineering, I am an interdisciplinary researcher focussed on solving current and future healthcare challenges using an engineering science approach that combines a range of fields from biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. I work at the interface between academic technology discovery and industrial development and have experience of both fundamental research and the commercialisation of new technology.
The two main challenges I currently work on are the development of affordable microfluidics for clinical diagnostics and microbiology, and the engineering science of complex biologic therapeutics such as vaccines.
Affordable microfluidic diagnostics from Micro Capillary Film and "µMicro" miniaturised microbiology
A major area of research focuses on developing simple devices for portable, low-cost, point of care bioassay testing exploiting a novel melt-extruded microstructured material called Micro Capillary Film (MCF). Because the melt-extrusion manufacture process is highly scalable, MCF represents an exceptionally low cost microfluidic material.
Our current work has two objectives: Firstly, we are developing a range of devices that can perform rapid tests using standard immunoassay chemistry in different settings, ranging from fully automated bedside testing, to simple, portable manually operated devices for testing in the field. and then be read using simple optical readers such as a smartphone camera. Secondly, MCF is especially suitable for performing the many and varied tests that are used to detect and identify microorganisms such as bacterial pathogens. We are therefore pioneering the miniaturisation of microbiology tests using MCF. We believe that microfluidics will become an especially important tool for analytical microbiology, a new field we term "µMicro".
In 2012 Dr Edwards co-founded Capillary Film Technology Ltd, a healthtech startup company that aims to commercialise MCF immunoassay technology for diagnostic applications. CFT's lead product is a fully automated rapid test platform, which will initially allow faster heart attack diagnostics.
Engineering next generation vaccines: formulation and function
Conventional vaccines require injection, refrigerated distribution, and challenging manufacturing processes. New vaccines against emerging infections are slow and expensive to develop. This is partly because existing vaccines are typically developed using decades-old empirical methods. I am interested in developing technologies that allow rapid, low-cost discovery and manufacture of fully engineered vaccines against emerging and existing infections.
One example of such a technology is live bacterial vaccines (LBV) based on safe, attenuated intestinal pathogens such as salmonella. These can be genetically modified to carry protein antigens from, and protect against other pathogens such as anthrax or influenza. LBV offer the benefits of oral administration (a 'vaccine pill'), storage and distribution without refrigeration, and simple, low-cost, rapid manufacture. Although much progress has been made in the attenuation of pathogens to develop effective LBV strains, and in genetic engineering to carry other antigens, less is known about formulation and delivery. Yet live bacteria represent a highly complex therapeutic agent, and formulation is therefore likely to have a critical impact on function.
Likewise, human approved adjuvants have limited immunogenicity. Improved formulation of subunit vaccines is essential to make this vaccine class effective against emerging and existing infectious threats.
My research is funded from a wide range of sources, including EPSRC, SBRI Healthcare, the Wellcome Trust, Innovate UK and industry.
- WO2010079343. "Formulations of viable bacteria for oral delivery" NKH Slater and AD Edwards.
- WO2011117579. "Immunoassays, methods for carrying out immunoassays, immunoassay kits and methods for manufacturing immunoassay kits" AD Edwards, NM Reis, NKH Slater and MR Mackley.
- WO2016012778 "Capillary assay device with internal hydrophilic coating" AD Edwards, NM Reis.
- Diep, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-7166-6369 , Ray, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8375-8279 , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2022) Methods for rapid prototyping novel labware: using CAD and desktop 3D printing in the microbiology laboratory. Letters in Applied Microbiology , 74 (2). pp. 247-257. ISSN: 1472-765X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lam.13615
- Reis, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-8706-6998 , Needs, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-3407-9637 , Jegouic, S. , Gill, K. , Sirivisoot, S. , Howard, S. , Kempe, J. , Bola, S. , Al-Hakeem, K. , Jones, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-7738-2516 , Prommool, T. , Luangaram, P. , Avirutnan, P. , Puttikhunt, C. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) Gravity-driven microfluidic siphons: fluidic characterization and application to quantitative immunoassays. ACS Sensors , 6 (12). pp. 4338-4348. ISSN: 2379-3694 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.1c01524
- Dobia, A. , Ryan, K. , BaHammam, A. , Abutaleb, M. , Alwadani, R. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) The use of hypnotics for Insomnia Disorder in Saudi Arabia: a survey of patients’ experiences and perceptions. Sleep and Vigilance , 5 (2). pp. 235-244. ISSN: 2510-2265 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41782-021-00151-7
- Diep, T. , Bizley, S. , Ray, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8375-8279 , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) MicroMI: a portable microbiological mobile incubator that uses inexpensive lithium power banks for field microbiology. HardwareX , 10 ISSN: 24680672 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ohx.2021.e00242
- Needs, S. , Donmez, S. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) Direct microfluidic antibiotic resistance testing in urine with smartphone capture: significant variation in sample matrix interference between individual human urine samples. RSC Advances , 11 (60). pp. 38258-38263. ISSN: 2046-2069 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/D1RA06867A
- Barbosa, A. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X , Reis, N. (2021) Antibody surface coverage drives matrix interference in microfluidic capillary immunoassays. ACS Sensors , 6 (7). pp. 2682-2690. ISSN: 2379-3694 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.1c00704
- Needs, S. , Osborn, H. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) Counting bacteria in microfluidic devices: smartphone compatible ‘dip-and-test’ viable cell quantitation using resazurin amplified detection in microliter capillary arrays. Journal of Microbiological Methods ISSN: 0167-7012 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2021.106199
- Jegouic, S. , Jones, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-7738-2516 , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2021) Affordable mobile microfluidic diagnostics: minimum requirements for smartphones and digital imaging for colorimetric and fluorometric anti-dengue and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection. Wellcome Open Research , 6 ISSN: 2398-502X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16628.1
- Needs, S. , Donmez, S. , Bull, S. , McQuaid, C. , Osborn, H. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2020) Challenges in microfluidic and point-of-care phenotypic antimicrobial resistance tests. Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering , 6 ISSN: 2297-3079 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmech.2020.00073
- Dönmez, S. , Needs, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-3407-9637 , Osborn, H. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2020) Label-free smartphone quantitation of bacteria by darkfield imaging of light scattering in fluoropolymer micro capillary film allows portable detection of bacteriophage lysis. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical , 323 pp. 128645. ISSN: 0925-4005 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.snb.2020.128645
- Needs, S. , Bull, S. , Bravo, J. , Walker, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-5942-1836 , Little, G. , Hart, J. , Edwards, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2369-989X (2020) Remote videolink observation of model home sampling and home testing devices to simplify usability studies for point-of-care diagnostics. Wellcome Open Research , 5 (174). ISSN: 2398-502X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16105.1
- Bull, S. , Needs, S. , Edwards, A. (2020) Building open lab hardware to tackle antimicrobial resistance. University of Reading | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.17864/1926.89600
- Needs, S. , Diep, T. , Bull, S. , Lindley-Decaire, A. , Ray, P. , Edwards, A. , eds. (2019) Exploiting open source 3D printer architecture for laboratory robotics to automate high-throughput time-lapse imaging for analytical microbiology. In: Kusters, I. , (eds.) PLOS ONE , 14 (11). ISSN: 1932-6203 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224878
- Dobia, A. , Ryan, K. , Abutaleb, M. , Edwards, A. (2019) Perceptions of physicians in Saudi Arabia on the use of international clinical guidelines for managing primary insomnia. PLoS ONE , 14 (8). pp 0. ISSN: 1932-6203 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220960
- Dobia, A. , Ryan, K. , BaHammam, A. , Edwards, A. (2019) Using benzodiazepines and Z-Drugs for managing primary insomnia in adults in Saudi Arabia: an e-Delphi study to aid the development of clinical guidelines. Sleep and Breathing , 23 (4). pp. 1133-1139. ISSN: 1520-9512 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11325-019-01794-7
- Gadd, A. , Castelletto, V. , Kabova, E. , Shankland, K. , Perrie, Y. , Hamley, I. , Cobb, A. , Greco, F. , Edwards, A. (2018) High potency of lipid conjugated TLR7 agonist requires nanoparticulate or liposomal formulation. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences , 123 pp. 268-276. ISSN: 0928-0987 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2018.07.048
- Thangsupanimitchai, N. and Edwards, A. (2018) Mixing is required for uniform reconstitution of filter-dried protein antigens in a single-injection vaccine formulation. Vaccine , 36 (3). pp. 5058-5064. ISSN: 0264-410X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.07.001
- Dahal, L. , Gadd, A. , Edwards, A. , Cragg, M. , Beers, S. (2018) UC-1V150, a potent TLR7 agonist capable of activating macrophages and potentiating mAb-mediated target cell deletion. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology , 87 (6). ISSN: 0300-9475 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sji.12666
- Pivetal, J. , Pereira, F. , Barbosa, A. , Castanheira, A. , Reis, N. , Edwards, A. (2017) Covalent immobilisation of antibodies in Teflon-FEP microfluidic devices for sensitive quantification of clinically relevant protein biomarkers. The Analyst , 142 (6). pp. 959-968. ISSN: 0003-2654 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6AN02622B
- Reis, N. , Pivetal, J. , Loo-Zazueta, A. , Barros, J. , Edwards, A. (2016) Lab on a stick: multi-analyte cellular assays in a microfluidic dipstick. Lab on a Chip , 16 (15). pp. 2891-2899. ISSN: 1473-0189 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6LC00332J
- Edwards, A. and Reis, N. (2016) Capillary assay device with internal hydrophilic coating. | doi: WO2016012778
- de Barros, J. , Costabile, A. , Charalampopoulos, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-1269-8402 , Khutoryanskiy, V. , Edwards, A. (2016) Evaluating and optimizing oral formulations of live bacterial vaccines using a gastro-small intestine model. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics , 102 pp. 115-122. ISSN: 0939-6411 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2016.03.010
- Gadd, A. , Greco, F. , Cobb, A. , Edwards, A. (2015) Targeted activation of toll-like receptors: conjugation of a toll-like receptor 7 agonist to a monoclonal antibody maintains antigen binding and specificity. Bioconjugate Chemistry , 26 (8). pp. 1743-1752. ISSN: 1043-1802 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00302
- de Barros, J. , Lechner, T. , Charalampopoulos, D. , Khutoryanskiy, V. , Edwards, A. (2015) Enteric coated spheres produced by extrusion/spheronization provide effective gastric protection and efficient release of live therapeutic bacteria. International Journal of Pharmaceutics , 493 (1-2). pp. 483-494. ISSN: 0378-5173 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2015.06.051
- Castanheira, A. , Barbosa, A. , Edwards, A. , Reis, N. (2015) Multiplexed femtomolar quantitation of human cytokines in a fluoropolymer microcapillary film. Analyst , 140 (16). pp. 5609-5618. ISSN: 0003-2654 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C5AN00238A
- Barbosa, A. , Gehlot, P. , Sidapra, K. , Edwards, A. , Reis, N. (2015) Portable smartphone quantitation of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in a fluoropolymer microfluidic device. Biosensors and Bioelectronics , 70 pp. 5-14. ISSN: 0956-5663 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2015.03.006
- Barbosa, A. , Castanheira, A. , Edwards, A. , Reis, N. (2014) A Lab-in-a-briefcase for rapid prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening from whole blood. Lab on a Chip , 14 (16). pp. 2918-2928. ISSN: 1473-0197 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C4LC00464G
- de Barros, J. , Scherer, T. , Charalampopoulos, D. , Khutoryanskiy, V. , Edwards, A. (2014) A laminated polymer film formulation for enteric delivery of live vaccine and probiotic bacteria. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences , 103 (7). pp. 2022-2032. ISSN: 1520-6017 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jps.23997
- Mahbubani, K. , Slater, N. , Edwards, A. (2014) Protection of dried probiotic bacteria from bile using bile adsorbent resins. New Biotechnology , 31 (1). pp. 69-72. ISSN: 1871-6784 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2013.09.001
- Cook, M. , Saratoon, T. , Tzortzis, G. , Edwards, A. , Charalampopoulos, D. , Khutoryanskiy, V. (2013) CLSM method for the dynamic observation of pH change within polymer matrices for oral delivery. Biomacromolecules , 14 (2). pp. 387-393. ISSN: 1525-7797 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bm301569r
- Edwards, A. (2013) What have dendritic cells ever done for adjuvant design? Cellular and molecular methods for the rational development of vaccine adjuvants. In: Flower , D. and Perrie, Y. , (eds.) Immunomic Discovery of Adjuvants and Candidate Subunit Vaccines. Immunomics reviews Immunomic Discovery of Adjuvants and Candidate Subunit Vaccines (5). pp. 131-154. ISBN: 978-1-4614-5070-2 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5070-2_8
- Gerrard, S. , Baniecki, M. , Sokal, D. , Morris, M. , Urdaneta-Hartmann, S. , Krebs, F. , Wigdahl, B. , Abrams, B. , Hanson, C. , Slater, N. , Edwards, A. (2012) A nipple shield delivery system for oral drug delivery to breastfeeding infants : Microbicide delivery to inactivate HIV. International Journal of Pharmaceutics , 434 (1-2). pp. 224- 234. ISSN: 0378-5173 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.05.035
- Jopeace, A. , Howard, C. , Murton, B. , Edwards, A. , Monie, T. (2012) Pattern recognition receptors and infectious diseases. Insight and control of infectious disease in global scenario. InTech Open ISBN: 9789535103196
- Edwards, A. , REIS, N. , Slater, N. , Mackley, M. (2011) Immunoassays, methods for carrying out immunoassays, immunoassay kits and method for manufacturing immunoassay kits . | doi: WO/2011/117579
- Edwards, A. , Reis, N. , Slater, N. , Mackley, M. (2011) A simple device for multiplex ELISA made from melt-extruded plastic microcapillary film. Lab on a Chip , 11 (24). pp. 4267-4273. ISSN: 1473-0197 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C0LC00357C
- Edwards, A. and Slater, N. (2010) Formulations of viable cells for oral delivery. | doi: WO2010079343
- Edwards, A. , Chatterjee, P. , Mahbubani, K. , Reis, C. , Slater, N. (2010) Optimal protection of stabilised dry live bacteria from bile toxicity in oral dosage forms by bile acid adsorbent resins. Chemical Engineering Science , 65 (16). pp. 4844-4854. ISSN: 0009-2509 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2010.05.030
- Cheeks, M. , Edwards, A. , Arnot, C. , Slater, N. (2009) Gene transfection of HEK cells on supermacroporous polyacrylamide monoliths: a comparison of transient and stable recombinant protein expression in perfusion culture. New Biotechnology , 26 (6). pp. 289-299. ISSN: 1871-6784 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2009.08.006
- Edwards, A. and Slater, N. (2009) Protection of live bacteria from bile acid toxicity using bile acid adsorbing resins. Vaccine , 27 (29). pp. 3897-3903. ISSN: 0264-410X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.04.006
- Edwards, A. and Slater, N. (2008) Formulation of a live bacterial vaccine for stable room temperature storage results in loss of acid, bile and bile salt resistance. Vaccine , 26 (45). pp. 5675-5678. ISSN: 0264-410X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.08.024
- Carr, J. , Carrasco, M. , Thaventhiran, J. , Bambrough, P. , Kraman, M. , Edwards, A. , Al-Shamkhani, A. , Fearon, D. (2006) CD27 mediates interleukin-2-independent clonal expansion of the CD8+ T cell without effector differentiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 103 (51). pp. 19454. ISSN: 0027-8424 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0609706104
- Rogers, N. , Slack, E. , Edwards, A. , Nolte, M. , Schulz, O. , Schweighoffer, E. , Williams, D. , Gordon, S. , Tybulewicz, V. , Brown, G. (2005) Syk-Dependent Cytokine Induction by Dectin-1 Reveals a Novel Pattern Recognition Pathway for C Type Lectins. Immunity , 22 (4). pp. 507. ISSN: 10747613 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2005.03.004
- Edwards, A. , Chaussabel, D. , Tomlinson, S. , Schulz, O. , Sher, A. , Reis e Sousa, C. (2003) Relationships Among Murine CD11chigh Dendritic Cell Subsets as Revealed by Baseline Gene Expression Patterns. The Journal of Immunology , 171 (1). pp. 47-60. ISSN: 0022-1767 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.171.1.47
- Edwards, A. , Diebold, S. , Slack, E. , Tomizawa, H. , Hemmi, H. , Kaisho, T. , Akira, S. , Sousa, C. (2003) Toll-like receptor expression in murine DC subsets: lack of TLR7 expression by CD8α+ DC correlates with unresponsiveness to imidazoquinolines. European Journal of Immunology , 33 (4). pp. 827. ISSN: 142980 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.200323797
- Edwards, A. , Manickasingham, S. , Sporri, R. , Diebold, S. , Schulz, O. , Sher, A. , Kaisho, T. , Akira, S. , Reis e Sousa, C. (2002) Microbial Recognition Via Toll-Like Receptor-Dependent and -Independent Pathways Determines the Cytokine Response of Murine Dendritic Cell Subsets to CD40 Triggering. The Journal of Immunology , 169 (7). pp. 3652-3660. ISSN: 0022-1767 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.169.7.3652
- Schulz, O. , Edwards, A. , Schito, M. , Aliberti, J. , Manickasingham, S. , Sher, A. , Reis e Sousa, C. (2000) CD40 Triggering of Heterodimeric IL-12 p70 Production by Dendritic Cells In Vivo Requires a Microbial Priming Signal. Immunity , 13 (4). pp. 453. ISSN: 10747613 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1074-7613(00)00045-5