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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K004204/1
Title: GLOBAL - Promoting research partnerships in Advanced Materials for Healthcare
Principal Investigator: Coates, Professor PD
Other Investigators:
Martyn, Dr M Sheldrake, Dr HM Whiteside, Professor BR
Benkreira, Professor H Twigg, Dr P Afarinkia, Dr K
Sweeney, Professor J Mulvaney-Johnson, Dr L Caton-Rose, Dr P
Horoshenkov, Professor KV Kelly, Professor AL Bloj, Professor M
Beggs, Professor C Brown, Dr E Gough, Professor T
Falconer, Dr R Buckley, Dr J Pors, Dr K
Patterson, Professor L Paradkar, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering and Informatics
Organisation: University of Bradford
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2012 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 499,989
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The programme will focus on the strengthening and further development of our university's successful research links with leading researchers in Chinese Universities meeting aligned needs of the UK and China in the strategic area of advanced materials for healthcare, aimed at medical technologies and drug delivery and building on our successful Science Bridges China programme. The overall purpose long term is to help meet the growing healthcare needs of the UK and China, which was identified as one of three UK-China collaborative research priorities by Ministers Willets and Wan in July 2011.

The programme consists of Research projects, and a range of Network and Training activities.

The RESEARCH projects, which are all in the area of Advanced Materials for Healthcare, are grouped into 3 inter-related Streams: Stream 1: Micromoulding & microextrusion & scale effects; Stream 2: Solid phase orientation of polymers & polymer nanocomposites; Stream 3: Enhanced drug delivery & bioavailabilty.

Our proposal concerns controlling the structures of selected advanced materials through precision processing to achieve enhanced, controlled properties, for use in medical devices and technologies. We will explore polymers and polymer nanocomposites and their blends, to develop materials with novel physical properties (conductivity, strength, stiffness or diffusion behaviour) or novel products (including medical devices such as dental treatments, ophthalmic surgical devices, implantable devices (including arthroscopic fixations and orthopaedic implants for spinal repair)), drug delivery systems (e.g. microneedle arrays or drug eluting stents), and diagnostic devices (microfluidics, optical systems). We will also explore pharmaceuticals to enhance drug delivery methods, and drug bioavailability. Greater bioavailability means that less drug can be used to achieve a given effect in treating patients, which may be achieved by different routes such as amending the drug structure during processing of tablets, patches etc. (e.g. co-crystallisation) to enhance drug solubility in patients, or by physical particle size and form changes using supercritical fluids.

NETWORKS & TRAINING are really 'People Bridges' activities - making trusting links between researchers, developing younger staff, leads to teams working for each other, opening up new opportunities and joint responses to challenges. Various mechanisms will be used to promote people bridges and subsequent collaborative projects and outputs. These include developing further our UK-China state of the art research Network, based on our extensive current Science Bridges China network, in which we have research collaborations with 18 leading Chinese universities and institutions, in the field of healthcare technologies. We will continue to proactively include other UK universities and companies in network events and project proposals with China, and healthcare sector companies in China and the UK. We will launch the UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI), in April 2012 at a Research Workshop in Chengdu. We will enable significant Researcher Exchanges with China, all of which will involve Research Training, and hold up to 4 Research Workshops in our theme. We will develop joint publications, joint IP and joint research student supervision, and encourage the formation of joint research laboratories (similar to the one Bradford recently formed with Sichuan University, in Polymer Micro Processing). We will continue to build on the very high visibility Science Bridges China has in China, including ongoing dialogues with the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Education.
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Organisation Website: http://www.brad.ac.uk