Predictive lab models of human digestion and absorption

Aelius Biotech specialise in lab models of the aerodigestive tract. Our predictive systems can help you understand your formulation during vital pre-clinical stages to help you improve and de-risk product development and get succesful products to market.

What We Do

Aelius Biotech is a contract research company specialising in modelling the aero-digestive tract without the use of animal testing. Our Integrated Model Gut System is a lab model stretching from the mouth to the large intestine capable of modelling digestion, mucus permeation and absorption. We also have expertise in modelling other mucosal surfaces including the airways and access to a range of analytical services for specialised testing.

We offer services from in vitro screening right through to human testing. These systems can help you screen and develop products to make data driven decisions, and help get successful products to market sooner and more cost-effectively.


Hear from some of our previous customers how Aelius Biotech services have been able to help with product development

Ann Taylor-Hutchinson. Pharmaceutical Development Director

Oxford PharmaScience

“Using the integrated gastric model to assess gastric damage has been very valuable to our research and development pipeline. Our interest has been in assessing the effect of our formulations on the epithelia in relevant Gl secretions with a mucus barrier present. This has been very useful to us.”

Ann Taylor-Hutchinson. Pharmaceutical Development Director
Jon Farrimond. Scientific and Regulatory Affairs

Suntory Beverage and Food (Europe)

“We have worked with Aelius Biotech on the development of two products that have gone to human trials to support EFSA health claims and have seen the value that reliable in vitro models can provide. The model has helped us make numerous key decision and investments. I am sure these models will be used by industry to accelerate and improve product development.”

Jon Farrimond. Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
Craig Rose. Managing Director

Seaweed & Co.

“Working with Aelius and their human gut model proved to be an extremely cost effective way to run trials on our products. This data guided future research for human trials, as well as giving highly relevant and credible results for scientific publications and commercial successes.”

Craig Rose. Managing Director

Our Publications

Selected Publications

  • Efficacy and safety concerns over the use of mucus modulating agents for drug delivery using nanoscale systems. Chater, Peter I., Matthew D. Wilcox, and Jeffrey P. Pearson. Advanced drug delivery reviews (2017).
  • Prominent members of the human gut microbiota express endo-acting O-glycanases to initiate mucin breakdown. Crouch LI, Liberato MV, Urbanowicz PA, Baslé A, Lamb CA, Stewart CJ, Cooke K, Doona M, Needham S, Brady RR, Berrington JE, Madunic K, Wuhrer M, Chater P, Pearson J, Bolam D. Nature communications (2020).
  • ζ potential changing nanoparticles as cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene delivery system: an in vitro evaluation. Prüfert, Felix, Sonja Bonengel, Saskia Köllner, Janine Griesser, Matthew D. Wilcox, Peter I. Chater, Jeffrey P. Pearson, and Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch.  Nanomedicine 12, no. 22 (2017): 2713-2724.
  • The properties of the mucus barrier, a unique gel–how can nanoparticles cross it? Pearson, Jeffrey P., Peter I. Chater, and Matthew D. Wilcox.  Therapeutic delivery 7, no. 4 (2016): 229-244.
  • The effect of nanoparticle permeation on the bulk rheological properties of mucus from the small intestine. Wilcox, M. D., L. K. Van Rooij, P. I. Chater, I. Pereira de Sousa, and J. P. Pearson. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 96 (2015): 484-487.

Our Services

Functional Foods

Test efficacy, refine formulations, develop mechanistic data for EFSA submissions, predict and design human trials

Drug Delivery

Using a unique method for combining mucus with cell culture models allows us to simulate dissolution, mucus permeation and epithelial absorption in a single system.

Bespoke Modelling

Aelius Biotech systems are flexible and our scientists enjoy a challenge so if you have a sticky problem with mucus or the digestive tract, please get in touch.

Modelling Digestion

From whole meals to single substrates our systems can model how your performs in a physiologically relevant simulation of digestion.

Mucus Permeation

The mucus barrier acts as a key barrier to intestinal absorption. Failure to appreciate this often leads to problems with drug delivery. Our systems can simulate and predict mucus permeation.

Epithelial Absorption

Aelius Biotech have access to a range of standard cell lines as well as primary cell cultures from patients and normals for absorption studies. 

Human Trials

Through close collaboration with Newcastle University we are able to offer human trials for acceptability, palatability and efficacy from pilot to large scale.

Routine Testing

We offer competitive pricing and high quality service delivery for routine analysis and testing, along with involved follow up to help understand and interpret results..

Research Consultancy

Get in touch to see how our team of academic and industry experts can help you. 

Our Team

Meet our experts

Dr. Peter Chater


CEO. Peter Chater is an Innovation Fellow at Newcastle University who works on in vitro modelling of the digestive tract.

Prof. Jeff Pearson


Jeff is a professor of molecular physiology with over 30 years of experience in gastrointestinal physiology.

Prof. Peter Dettmar


Peter has over thirty years’ experience of the pharmaceutical industry, leading gastrointestinal R&D and is a named inventor on over 40 patents.

Harvey Dettmar MBA

Finance Director

Harvey Dettmar has a background in technology and investment banking and has created and worked for a number of healthcare start-up companies in finance, operations and sales..

Dr. Matt Wilcox


Matt has over 10 years experience in modelling digestion at Newcastle University where he has also set up and run numerous human trials.

Kyle Stanforth

Development Scientist.

Kyle works on developing the modelling capabilities of Aelius Biotech.

Maria Zakhour

PhD Student

Maria works on developing the Aelius Biotech integrated large intestinal model

Contact Us

Get in touch for more information on our integrated in vitro gastrointestinal model of digestion and absorption and its relevant applications or to learn more about our innovative mucus gels suitable for modelling mucosal surfaces of the body in the lab without the need for animal models.