Bio-Instructive Materials Institute

Bio-Instructive Materials Institute

The prevalence of chronic diseases requiring the use of medical devices and implants is rising fast. Failure and rejection of implants due to infection or adverse immune responses, causing chronic inflammation, are major barriers to clinical success and affect millions of patients.



1) Cell Polymer Microarray (Asha Patel, 2015) 2) Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer 3)Differentially polarised macrophage seeded on polymer array, an array of cells on an array of surfaces 4) Cells on polymer spots


Biomedical devices are now an integral part of modern medicine with devices and implants routinely used in a wide range of applications from tissue engineered constructs and drug delivery platforms to biosensors and implants that replace failing organs (hip, knee and dental implants). 

Research activities within the Bio-Instructive Materials Institute (BMI) are focused on providing innovative solutions to overcome the major clinical challenge posed by infection and adverse immune responses which are orchestrated by immune cells such as macrophages. These complications not only limit the efficacy of currently available treatments, but also pose an important bottleneck in biomedical engineering.

Key aims and expertise

  • The BMI’s mission is to design and develop bio-instructive materials with immune-enhancing/modulating functionalities. Such biomaterials will not only be capable of promoting healing, but will also minimize the risk of infection by enhancing local immune responses and anti-microbial performance. This is an area of great importance to the future of biomedical engineering. 
  • The BMI provides a cross-disciplinary framework for research into improved medical devices, regenerative medicine and biosensor implants, using biomedical materials selected to harness their immunomodulatory properties. 

Current projects

  • Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery (EPSRC) 
  • Using immune modulatory hydrogels for controlling macrophage function in situ to enhance implant outcome (FP7)
  • High throughput screening of carbohydrate libraries for their immune modulatory properties (Meshal Alobiad) 
  • Identifying novel polymers with the ability to control the phenotype and function of human dendritic cells (Lisa Kämmerling)
  • Novel polymers to accelerate wound healing and control fibrosis (Arsalan Latif)
  • Developing methods for high throughput screening of human macrophage function and phenotype (Chidimma Mbadugha) 
  • Personalised and generalised integrated biomaterial risk assessment  (H2020)

  • In Vivo proof of concept studies to assess the efficacy of immuno-modulatory biomaterials (Leanne Fisher) (MRC, CiC)

  • Bio-instructive polymers for bone regeneration (Mitchel Day)(MRC-EPSRC)  

  • Pro-vascularisation materials to promote wound healing (Christopher May) (EPSRC)

  • Hybrid bioelectronic and immune-instructive scaffolds for modulating macrophage polarity and their potential applications in chronic wound healing (Charlie Whitehead) (Co-Is Frankie Rawson and Lisa White) (EPSRC)



Bio-Instructive Materials Institute

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6246