Dr Tao Sun

MSc, PhD

  • Senior Lecturer in Industrial Biotechnology
  • Director of Loughborough-China Chemical Engineering Partnership
  • Member of School Enterprise Committee


Dr. Sun Tao obtained his BSc in Microbiology from Shan Dong University, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China. He then held post-doc research assistant, associate and senior research associate appointments at Institute of Transfusion Medicine (Beijing, China), Institute of Material Research and Engineering (IMRE, Singapore), Sheffield University and Glasgow University (UK), working on fibrin sealant, liver/skin/nerve tissue engineering, computational modelling of cultured cells & tissues and epidermal wound healing processes. Due to his multidisciplinary research experience, Dr. Sun was appointed as a Lecturer in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (2011-13) at Xi’an Jiao-tong Liverpool University (XJTLU), and then a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering (2013-2015) at Bolton University (UK). In 2015, he joined Loughborough University as a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Biotechnology.


  • PhD in Chemical Engineering
  • MSc in Microbiology
  • Higher Education Academy Fellowship (HEA) UK

Outline of main research interests:

  • Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (TERM): Mechanistic understanding of cell-cell, cell-scaffold interactions during tissue formation; Investigation of scale-down & up issues in TERM using scale-down and scale-up tissue culture models; Bioreactor development for cell & tissue cultures; Reconstruction of engineered human tissues for diagnostic and clinical purposes; Clinical trial of engineered human skins.
  • Systems Biology: Development of multi-scale computational models using agent-based modelling and other simulation approaches for the mechanistic understanding of cultivated cells & tissues as well as scale-up & down issues in TERM.
  • Synthetic Biology: Modification of viruses using genetic engineering technologies; Scale-up & down issues in the manufacturing of genetically modified viruses; Synthesis of functional nanomaterials using viral-based bio-templates.
  • Bioprocess development: Bioreactor design & fabrication for upstream processes using microbes or mammalian cells; Design & optimization of downstream processes such as protein purification strategies at bench-, pilot- and industrial scales for clinical purposes.

Grants and contracts:

  • 2018-2021: Research project: Modeling of the development process of hypertrophic scar and theoretical study on the optimal scheme of scar treatment with fractional laser Funding body: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), NSFC 8177080711  Awarded amount: ¥ 540,600 Co-principal Investigator: Dr. SUN Tao.
  • 2017-2021: Research project: Transparent organic/inorganic nanocomposites for protection and manufactured with engineered protein templates Funding body: SynbiCITE at Imperial College London, BMPF P63642 PO3711949  Awarded amount: £101752.40. Co-principal Investigator: Dr. SUN Tao.
  • 2016-2020 Research project: Evaluation of the engineered human skins reconstructed on thin membranous carriers using allogenic cells during the healing process of 2nd degree burn wounds Funding body: Shang Hai Horizon Biotechnology Co Ltd.  Awarded amount: ¥ 2000,000 Principal Investigator: Dr. SUN Tao.
  • 2016-2017: Research project: Development of hierarchical composites through virus-enabled synthesis (HIVES) Funding body: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Centre for Defence Enterprise, UK (CDE UK), CDE100572. Awarded amount: £100,000. Principal Investigator: Dr. SUN Tao.

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • CGA008- Thermodynamics I
  • CGA006- Heat transfer
  • CGC024- Biochemical Engineering
  • CGD069- Advanced Biochemical Engineering
  • CGD059- Chemical Product Design
  • CGA014- Design and Make I
  • CGB024- Design and Make II
  • CGD045- Individual Process Design Project MEng
  • CGD046- Team Process Design Project MEng
  • CGA004- Chemical Engineering Laboratory
  • CGP056- MSc Project
  • CGC046- Literature Survey

Current administrative responsibilities:

  • Director of Loughborough-China Chemical Engineering Partnership
  • Member of School Enterprise Committee

Selected publications:

Cui, J., Wang, H., Shi, Q., Ferraro, P., Sun, T., Dario, P., Huang, Q., Fukuda, T. (2020) Permeable hollow 3D tissue-like constructs engineered by on-chip hydrodynamic-driven assembly of multicellular hierarchical micromodules. Acta Biomaterialia, 113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.010

Liu, X., Shi, Q., Wang, H., Sun, T., Yu, N., Huang, Q., Fukuda, T. (2018) Automated Fluidic Assembly of Microvessel-Like Structures Using a Multimicromanipulator System. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 23(2). https://doi.org/10.1109/TMECH.2018.2796182

Sun, T., Shi, Q., Huang, Q., Wang, H., Xiong, X., Hu, C., Fukuda, T. (2018) Magnetic alginate microfibers as scaffolding elements for the fabrication of microvascular-like structures. Acta Biomaterialia, 66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2017.11.038

Gabbott, C.M., Zhou, Z.X., Han, G.X., Sun, T. (2017) A novel scale-down cell culture and imaging design for the mechanistic insight of cell colonisation within porous substrate. Journal of Microscopy, 267(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/jmi.12555

Sun, T., Wang, H., Shi, Q., Takeuchi, M., Nakajima, M., Huang, Q., Fukuda, T. (2016) Micromanipulation for Coiling Microfluidic Spun Alginate Microfibers by Magnetically Guided System. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2016.2524991

Wang, H., Shi, Q., Sun, T., Liu, X., Nakajima, M., Huang, Q., Dario, P., Fukuda, T. (2016) High-Speed Bioassembly of Cellular Microstructures with Force Characterization for Repeating Single-Step Contact Manipulation. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2016.2522084

Donoghue, P.S., Sun, T., Gadegaard, N., Riehle, M.O., Barnett, S.C. (2014) Development of a novel 3D culture system for screening features of a complex implantable device for CNS repair. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1021/mp400526n


External collaborators:

  • Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Beijing, P.R. China
  • Burn Department, Chan Hai Hospital, Shang Hai, P.R. China
  • Soochow University, Su Zhou, P.R. China
  • Liverpool John Moores University;
  • Sheffield University
  • Glasgow University

External roles and appointments:

  • Reviewer for International journals including Journal of Materials; International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Biomaterials.
  • Guest Editor for International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • Editor for International Journal of Microscopy, Engineering Press, Journal of blood.
  • Visiting Professor of Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Beijing, P.R. China.
  • Visiting Professor of Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China.