Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

A34TTS Translational Technologies for Stem Cells
(Last Updated:06 September 2017)

Year  17/18

Total Credits: 25

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  Only available to M.Sc. Stem Cell Technology students There is a limited number of places on this module. Students are reminded that enrolments which are not agreed by the Offering School in advance may be cancelled without notice.

Taught Semesters:

Spring Assessed by end of Spring Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  As stem cell technologies develop further, there is a need to translate their use towards biomedical and clinical applications. This module will cover four core areas: 1) Clinical and experimental applications for stem cells. Students will gain an appreciation of how stem cells can be used in drug development and understanding genetic disease, through to how stem cells are prepared for clinical use. It will also consider the challenges facing these tasks; 2) Scalability and application of stem cells will convey the challenges of using automation and bioreactors to produce the quantities of cells required for clinical and biomedical use; 3) Tissue engineering approaches for stem cells will focus of this module is on the challenges of delivering stem cells for clinical transplantation. Studies of the 3D culture of cells in bioreactor systems and the use of engineered scaffolds for optimal stem cell culture and tissue growth illustrate the application of cutting edge technologies to biological applications; 4) Interdisciplinary research will expose the students to state-of-the-art advances of the interface between stem cell biology and physical science techniques. This growing field is needed to overcome the engineering challenges required to translate stem cells into biomedical applications. Contact time: 67 hours (Lectures / tutorials = 27 hours; Practicals = 40 hours); Private study time = 140 hours

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 10 weeks4 per week1 hour
Tutorial 10 weeks1 per week1 hour 30 mins
Practical 10 weeks2 per week1 hour

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Exam 1 10 Rogo MCQ - 50 questions in 60 minutes 
Coursework 1 25 Essay - 3,000 words 
Report 25  1 Lab Report - 3,000 words 
Exam 2 20 Short answer question exam - 5 questions based on scenarios/ diagrams/ brief questions in 60 minutes 
Exam 3 20 Essay exam - Essay from choice of two 

Dr C Merry

Education Aims:  The purpose of this module is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the issues and state-of the art solutions surrounding translation of stem cells into clinical and biomedical application. This will be delivered through a variety of lectures and tutorials. In particular, the tutorials will require the students to evaluate the successes and challenges of using stem cells in disease modelling and drug development. In addition, these sessions will show the students why it is expensive, time consuming and challenging to produce clinical grade materials. The practical sessions will provide laboratory experience in techniques associated with analysis in the context of cell engineering.

Learning Outcomes:  This module will contribute to the following M.Sc. in Stem Cell Technology course learning outcomes: Knowledge and understanding A student who completes this course successfully will know and understand: The current role of stem cells in clinical applications, tissue engineering, commerce and basic research Principles of embryonic and adult stem cell culture, differentiation, tissue engineering and exploitation Principles, uses and reality of tissue engineering, clinical translation and stem cell scale-up The current international legislative, social, ethical, legal and commercial frameworks relevant to stem cell technologies Principles of experimental design, research methods and critical data analysis; Good Laboratory Practice The curriculum will provide purpose-designed lectures to ensure appropriate coverage of the topic, with many features reinforced and further explored in the practical classes. The assessed practical reports and essay will encourage the students to undertake private research into the relevant topics, providing further knowledge Intellectual skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to each course module. Apply the cognitive skills of critical thinking and analysis of scientific information to formulate experimentally testable hypotheses. Collate and critically analyse scientific data / arguments to enable clear and correct oral or written presentation to both lay and specialist audiences. Debate the socio-ethical issues surrounding stem cell technologies The essay, practical reports and discussion-based tutorials will enable the students to express research findings in different formats. Practical Skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Apply numeracy and calculative skills to enable experimental design and data analysis / interpretation. Appreciate requirements for polymer, scaffold and protein analysis in cell biology and tissue engineering Understand the role of advanced engineering solutions in translating stem cell biology into clinical practice and biomedical application Appreciate how automation with robotics is being developed to facilitate stem cell translation Be able to engage in critical analysis and individual / group debate of state-of-the-art stem cell practices, such as regenerative medicine, disease modelling and drug development Gain practical experience in analysing stem cell populations in the context of advanced engineering technologies. The theory will be described in both the practical classes and in relevant lectures. Understanding of this theory will be tested by the multiple choice, short answer and essay exam questions, as well as in the assessed practical reports. Transferable (key) skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Communicate effectively both with scientific professionals and the public using a variety of formats, including technical writing, oral and poster presentations, and discussions. Effectively time-manage, as evidenced by the ability to plan, self motivate and implement efficient modes of working. Exploit a range of information sources to enable effective problem solving, research implementation and coherent debating. Show an ethical attitude to research Demonstrate information technology skills, including word processing, spreadsheet use, database use, bibliography management and internet communication. Display evidence-based critical learning Research for the essay and practical reports will encourage the use of a wide range of available resources and the feedback on these assessments will ensure continued development. Students will undertake an online ENDNOTE tutorial as part of module 5 (B34RTS) and will be expected to practice use of this in all assignments within the current module. Students will be encouraged to practice the presentation skills learned in Module 5 (B34RTS) within the essay and practical reports within the current module. Discussion sessions in tutorials will encourage critical thinking. Written feedback given in the essay/ lab reports and oral feedback given in the tutorial sessions will assist in understanding of skill development.

Offering School:  Medicine

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