Biomaterials Discovery

Designing Bio-Instructive Materials for Translation-Ready Medical Devices


Topographical direction of cardiomyocytes derived from stem cells

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded funds for a project entitled: Designing Bio-Instructive Materials for Translation-Ready Medical Devices. This is based upon discoveries from a recent EPSRC Programme Grant which showed how design of plastics can be used to instruct cells to promote healing and prevent infection. This award will be used to develop these findings for translation to the clinic in two medical device classes; surgical meshes and wound care products. 

3D printing will be used to make chips containing many polymer chemistry combinations with micro topography, allowing rapid iteration in the designs targeting optimal cell response to minimise bacterial infections and maximise beneficial host immune responses. Advanced AI and analytics will be used to investigate the mechanism underlying these exciting cell-instructive materials to help design optimal materials.

The total award is for £4.1m over 4 years starting Jan 2023, it will employ 9 researchers across the Schools of Pharmacy, Life Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science, and the Faculty of Engineering. Commercial medical device manufacturers and clinical partners and patient public involvement groups are integral to the project to help achieve maximum clinical benefit.

The project involves academic collaborations with University College London, Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), La Trobe University (Australia), Clemson University (USA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA).

UK Academic Team

  • Professor Morgan R Alexander (Principal Investigator)
  • Dr Grazziela Figueredo
  • Professor Juan P Garrahan
  • Professor Derek J Irvine
  • Professor Ricky Wildman
  • Dr Yinfeng He
  • Dr Rian Griffiths
  • Dr Dave J Scurr
  • Dr Dong-Hyun Kim
  • Professor Paul Williams
  • Dr Jeni Luckett
  • Professor Amir M Ghaemmaghami
  • Professor Arne N Akbar (UCL)

 Article image provided courtesy of Aisha Nasir

Posted on Thursday 26th January 2023

Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery

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