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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D023807/1
Title: IDEAS Factory - Chemical Craftwork: The 'WellChell': A Public-domain Proto-platform for revolutionary discovery of Complex Chemical Systes
Principal Investigator: Schroeder, Professor SLM
Other Investigators:
Steinke, Dr JHG Cronin, Professor L Krasnogor, Professor N
Whitaker, Professor JBC Davis, Professor B Alexander, Professor C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr AM Beesley Mr N Tsapatsaris Dr N Weiher
Dr EA Willneff
Project Partners:
Department: Chem Eng and Analytical Science
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2005 Ends: 31 May 2009 Value (£): 167,026
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Bioprocess Engineering
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Complex fluids & soft solids
Fundamentals of Computing Light-Matter Interactions
Modelling & simul. of IT sys. Non-linear Systems Mathematics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project contributes to addressing one of the great challenges that the Chemical Sciences will have to face over the coming decades. Progress in our understanding of fundamental principles in biology, chemistry and physics has led to studies of increasingly complex chemical reaction systems. We need to devise theoretical and experimental frameworks to handle the increasingly large numbers of interdependent parameters in these complex systems, which include most prominently living systems (especially biological cells), but also processes for generating everyday products, for example the formulation of cosmetics, development of pharmaceuticals or preparation of foods. Such systems already pose a challenge to current chemical science because their formulation involves large numbers of components and preparation steps. It is therefore proposed to build a model miniature laboratory system with 96 chemical flow reactors, wherein the conditions of chemical processes (concentrations of reactants, temperature, flow speed) can be controlled using genetic computer algorithms. These genetic algorithms use the principles of biological evolution to efficiently find practically useful reaction parameters. The proposed 96-reactor system constitutes an inexpensive technology platform that will subsequently be made available for non-commercial use. Observing the evolution process in such a system will allow chemists to begin to analyse the principles underlying complex chemical reactions, and enable them to find synthesis routes for increasingly complex systems, including, ultimately, primitive 'living' systems.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk