Africa Smith de Diego


I graduated in 2015 from INSA Lyon University (in France) with a MEng in Biotechnology and later worked for 6 months in a French company specialised in bioassays.

As un undergraduate, I took part in the iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) with a project involving genetical engineering a bacteria to recover nickel particles for water depollution.



Research interests

My current research interests are dielectrophoresis and microfluidics for particle separation, tissue engineering and stem cells for tissue repair.

The aim of my research is to use Surface acoustic waves (SAW-DEP) technology to develop a working prototype device capable of separating specific stromal cells (MSCs) from clinical samples, with minimal manipulation and retained cell functionality and demonstrate its potential as a medical device for stem-cell therapies.

The project involves the develpment of microfluidic channel networks to allow the extraction of specific MSCs from fluids containing mixed populations, the use Finite Element modelling to optimise performance of device and in vivo testing of the cells separated  to demonstrate the bone mineralisation potential is unaffected by the separation

The project aligns with multiple EPSRC Priority Areas, contributing directly to the Healthcare Technologies strategy and developing technologies aligned with the Grand Challenge Developing Future Therapies, as well as the Cross-cutting Capabilities Advanced Materials and Disruptive Technologies for sensing/ analysis.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering