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Principal research interests are in biopharmaceutical stability, protein behaviour, smart particles for drug delivery and 2nd generation biofuels. The work encompasses various areas of analytical chemistry including spectroscopy, analytical bioscience and particle characterisation.
Aggregation is a major issue with many biopharmaceutical proteins. There is a need to characterise the effect of environmental conditions (temp, pH, ionic strength etc), processing conditions and formulation on stability in order to improve the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. Key areas of work include:
Effective delivery of therapeutic macromolecules (proteins, DNA etc) is a major challenge. The use of smart particles could greatly enhance the pharmacokinetics of such agents if the particles are able to overcome a number of challenges, such as extended residence time within the body, targeting of cells or tissue and trafficking across cell membranes (i.e. to cross blood-brain barrier or to target DNA to cell nucleus etc).There is a need to optimise properties for both physical stability and biological interaction. Key areas of work include:
Climate change and over dependency on oil and gas has led to increased interest in biofuels. The first generation of biofuels have been criticised for competing with food production, high energy demand and use of fertilisers. Second generation biofuels seek to address these issues by utilising waste cellulosic by-products from forestry and agriculture. There are many challenges in converting such materials into useful liquid fuels. One possible route is gasification and catalysis. However, the extreme processing conditions required gives rise to major challenges for catalyst stability and life-time. There is a need to characterise catalyst performance under these conditions and ultimately develop a new generation of more robust catalysts. Key areas of work include:
Daniel, B. and Kevin, P. (2017) ‘Sterling Metal Enhancement Ltd: Context and Problembased Learning in Analytical Chemistry’. In: Variety in Chemistry Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2017, 24th-25th August 2017, York, UK
Daniel, B (2017) ‘Developing competence with process simulation tools in undergraduate chemical engineering and chemistry programmes’. In: Variety in Chemistry Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2017, 24th-25th August 2017, York, UK
Daniel, B (2017) ‘Creating a rich and immersive learning journey using differentiated resources and active learning environments’. In: Variety in Chemistry Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2017, 24th-25th August 2017, York, UK
Belton, D (2016) ‘Teaching process simulation using video-enhanced and discovery/inquiry-based learning: methodology and analysis within a theoretical framework for skill acquisition’ Education for Chemical Engineers , 17, pp. 54-64. ISSN 1749-7728
Belton, D (2016) ‘Stages of Skill Acquisition’ Education for Chemical Engineers , 17. ISSN 1749-7728
Almond, M., Belton, D., Humphreys, P. and Laws, A. (2016) ‘A study of the metal binding capacity of saccharinic acids formed during the alkali catalysed decomposition of cellulosic materials: nickel complexation by glucoisosaccharinic acids and xyloisosaccharinic acids’ Carbohydrate Research , 427, pp. 48-54. ISSN 0008-6215
Campbell, G. and Belton, D. (2016) ‘Setting up new chemical engineering degree programmes: Exercises in design and retrofit within constraints’ Education for Chemical Engineers , 17, pp. 1-13. ISSN 1749-7728
Austerberry, J. and Belton, D. (2016) ‘The aggregation of cytochrome C may be linked to its flexibility during refolding’ 3 Biotech , 6 (1). ISSN 2190-572X
Knapton, S. and Belton, D. (2015) ‘Active Learning Resources for 'Students as Researchers'’. In: RSC Chemistry Teaching Symposium: Showcase for Student Projects on Chemical Education, 2nd June 2015, York, UK
Harling, G. and Belton, D. (2015) ‘Creating an Immersive Learning Experience for Teaching ICP-MS’. In: RSC Chemistry Teaching Symposium: Showcase for Student Projects on Chemical Education, 2nd June 2015, York, UK
Torpe, A. and Belton, D. (2015) ‘Improved Spectrophotometric Analysis of Fullerenes C60 and C70 in High-solubility Organic Solvents’ Analytical Sciences , 31 (2), pp. 125-130. ISSN 1348-2246
Bentley, S., Allan, R. and Belton, D. (2014) ‘Flipping the Classroom with Peer Instruction - How Effective Is It?’. In: eLearning 2.0, 23 July 2014, Brunel Business School
Belton, D (2014) ‘Experience of Trying Out the Inverted Classroom Approach’. In: ChemEngDayUK 2014, 7th to 8th April 2014, Manchester, UK
Bentley, S., Allan, R., Belton, D., Moffat, F., Pufal, D., Balac, P., Hunter, A. and Shaw, N. (2013) ‘Flipping the Classroom with Just in Time Teaching and Peer Instruction: Case Studies from the Sciences and Business’. In: ALT-C 2013, 10-12 September 2013, East Midlands Conference Centre, University of Nottingham
Belton, D., Allan, R. and Bentley, S. (2013) ‘Inverting the Classroom for Final year Analytical Chemistry’. In: HEA STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013, 17-18 Apr 2013, University of Birmingham
Belton, D. and Miller, A. (2013) ‘Thermal Aggregation of Recombinant Protective Antigen: Aggregate Morphology and Growth Rate’ Journal of Biophysics (751091). ISSN 1687-8000
Taylor, N., Austerberry, J., Laity, P. and Belton, D. (2012) ‘The application of simultaneous electric and magnetic fields to aid protein crystallisation’. In: Nanoformulation 2012, 27th May 1st June 2012, Barcelona, Spain
Austerberry, J. and Belton, D. (2012) ‘Small Angle Neutron Scattering Studies of Protein Aggregation’. In: Nanoformulation 2012, 27th May 1st June 2012, Barcelona, Spain
Winter, E., Laity, P. and Belton, D. (2012) ‘Characterisation of internally supported liposomes’. In: Nanoformulation 2012, 27th May 1st June 2012, Barcelona, Spain
Fenton, A., Austerberry, J. and Belton, D. (2012) ‘Investigating the mechanisms responsible for and the factors affecting protein aggregation’. In: Nanoformulation 2012, 27th May 1st June 2012, Barcelona
Winter, E., Laity, P. and Belton, D. (2012) ‘Synthesis of internally supported liposomes’. In: Nanoformulation 2012, 27th May 1st June 2012, Barcelona, Spain
Austerberry, J., Miller, A. and Belton, D. (2010) ‘Elucidating the mechanism and thermodynamics of protein aggregation in order to create novel biomaterials’. In: Nanoformulation 2010, 9th 11th June 2010, Stockholm, Sweden
Belton, D (2010) ‘Synthesis and characterisation of novel composite nano particles’. In: Nanoformulation 2010, 9th 11th June 2010, Stockholm, Sweden
Belton, D. and Miller, A. (2009) ‘Thermal Aggregation of Protective Antigen Monitored by Light Scattering Spectroscopy’. In: 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE8), 23-27 August 2009, Palais des Congrès de Montréal
Belton, D. and Miller, A. (2005) ‘What is the interrelation of protein structure and physical behaviour and how is it influenced by environmental conditions?’. In: 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, 10-14 July 2005, SECC, Glasgow
Belton, D. and Miller, A. (2005) ‘Protein structure and physical behaviour’. In: Protein Dynamics and Function, 4-6 January 2005, Leicester
The project will focus on the physical characterisation of protein behaviour. This will involve relating aggregation to environmental conditions and changes in protein structure. Various analytical techniques will be utilised, including infrared, fluorescence and light scattering.
The project will develop smart particles for improving the pharmacokinetics of macromolecules. This will involve the synthesis and characterisation of composite nano particles optimised for physical stability and biological interaction. The project will examine particle structure using microscopy, physical stability using light scattering techniques and biological behaviour using biological assays.
The project will address the challenges associated with biopharmaceutical stability during manufacture and processing. The effect of various processing conditions will be examined in relation to protein aggregation and physical stability. Analytical techniques that will be utilised include spectroscopy, surface techniques and light scattering.
The project will focus on the formulation of biopharmaceuticals for physical stability. The effect of various additives will be examined in relation to protein structural stability and aggregation. Analytical techniques that will be utilised include electron microscopy, light scattering, fluorescence and infrared.
The project will characterise and develop catalysts for the production of second generation biofuels. It will examine the stability and performance of existing catalysts in order to establish baseline behaviour. This will be followed by the characterisation of alternative novel materials which have the potential for similar catalytic activity coupled with improved stability. The work will utilise surface adsorption techniques and a catalyst testing rig.