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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M020460/1
Title: Soft robotic technologies for next-generation bio-integrative medical devices
Principal Investigator: Rossiter, Professor JM
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Bristol Royal Infirmary RIKEN Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hosp
Department: Engineering Mathematics
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2015 Ends: 30 September 2020 Value (£): 1,046,902
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Biomechanics & Rehabilitation
Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Mar 2015 Eng Fellowship Interviews Mar 2015 Announced
25 Feb 2015 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 25 February 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Healthcare is in need of more advanced therapies that integrate closely with the biological and physical systems of the human body. These include new treatments for age-related physical degradation, for example in the circulatory system, and post-operative functional restoration following surgery, including cancer removal, and trauma including traffic accidents. Unfortunately current medical treatments and devices rely heavily on conventional 'hard' technologies that limit effectiveness and raise safety and cost issues. In contrast soft robotic technologies have the potential for close bio-integration by exploiting the 'soft-soft' interfacing that is so prevalent in Nature. Soft robotics offers safer, scalable, lower cost and more effective personalised medical treatments. This fellowship will develop innovative modular soft robotic technologies for rapid exploitation in the next generation bio-integrative medical and therapeutic systems.

To enable future soft robotic healthcare technologies requires a concerted effort across the development pipeline from fundamental biocompatible smart materials and their corresponding nonlinear viscoelastic mathematical modelling to efficient compliant mechanisms and complete compliant machines. Fundamental studies into materials and mechanisms will be undertaken and will feed into the identification and characterisation of a set of modular soft robotic components that act as 'building blocks' for complete implantable medical devices.

The technologies identified and developed will contribute directly to a step change in the sophistication of bio-integrative medical treatments. These will strengthen the UKs capability in the field of healthcare technologies and will make a significant contribution to improvements in standards of care and quality of life for a wide range of patients.

Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk