Photo of Dr Kai Hoettges

Dr Kai Hoettges PhD

Lecturer Electrical Engineering and Electronics

    Research

    Research Overview

    "Kai Hoettges's research is at the interface between engineering and life sciences. He works on developing new instruments to generate data-rich highly automated experiments for life sciences.
    Highlights of his work are:
    - Microgravity experiments: Developing highly automated miniaturised experiments to conduct life science experiments on the international space station. As part of a multidisciplinary team, he is part of MicroAge Launching an experiment studying muscle loss in microgravity on the ISS in Dec 2021 and further experimenting in FLUMIAS to be launched in 2023.
    - Diagnosing antibiotic susceptibility in urinary tract infection. Translating technology developed at the University of Liverpool from a lab based research assay to a point of care instrument that can be deployed to a primary care setting. This has led to a spin-out company PhenuTest Diagnostics Ltd."

    Dielectrophoresis

    Dr Hoettges is using Dielectrophoresis (DEP) to characterise, separate and assemble cells and nanoparticles.
    DEP has great potential for rapid non-invasive measurement of the electrical properties of cells. This has shown to have numerous applications in life science research, drug discovery and diagnostics.
    DEP has further potential for the directed assembly of cell structure in tissue engineering and can be combined with photo-polymerised hydrogels to assemble complex structures.

    Bioreactors

    Dr Hoettges is interested in bioreactors allows a high degree of control over the chemical, electrical and mechanical environment of cells and tissues, combined with continuous monitoring over a period of several days.

    Bioreactors for microgravity Research

    Dr Hoettges is working on a number of projects studying biological processes in microgravity. For this, he is developing new bioreactors as well as monitoring and imaging technology that can be deployed on the international space station. He developed monitoring technology for MicroAge which was flown to the international space station on the SpaceX24 mission (Dec2021). And is developing a microfluidic cell culture chip for an experiment on the new FLUMAS structured light microscope that will be deployed on the International Space station in 2024.

    Research Grants

    Mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide as the mediator of skeletal muscle loss under microgravity and during ageing on earth

    UK SPACE AGENCY (UK)

    October 2021 - September 2022

    Microgravity as a model for accelerated skeletal muscle ageing

    UK SPACE AGENCY (UK)

    November 2018 - May 2022