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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R018669/1
Title: IRC Next Steps Plus: Photonic Pathogen Theranostics - Point-of-care image guided photonic therapy of bacterial and fungal infection
Principal Investigator: Dhaliwal, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Harrison, Professor EM Bradley, Professor M Eadie, Dr ED
Walsh, Professor T Williams, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr A Megia-Fernandez Dr B Mills Dr G O S Williams
Project Partners:
Aravind Eye Care System British Technology Group Ltd University of Groningen
Department: Centre for Inflammation Research
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2019 Ends: 30 June 2023 Value (£): 1,115,129
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Feb 2018 HIPs 2017 and IRC Next Steps Plus Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Bacterial and fungal infections are responsible for significant death, disability and poor outcomes and are a major financial burden on the health service. Infections resulting from invasive procedures or injuries whereby the body's own defences are breached are common and are now increasing in incidence and severity due to the rise of antimicrobial resistance. In the past, antibiotics were readily able to treat such infections. This research thus addresses, arguably, the biggest challenge facing modern healthcare, the rise of antimicrobial resistance. The post antibiotic era is looming and novel strategies that do not rely upon conventional antibiotics and antifungals are urgently required.

This research proposal will develop to near-clinical readiness, novel classes of therapeutic molecules that will bind specifically to microbes for subsequent activation with low energy light to augment microbial killing.

Work on the different elements needed to create this technology platform will be undertaken by investigators at Edinburgh and Liverpool Universities in collaboration with partners in India and in a global surgical network. This project will be based in the Proteus interdisciplinary "hub" to ensure rapid product development. The researchers will spend time in each others labs as well as arranging an open network meeting once a year to ensure broader engagement. The scientists (researcher co-investigators) in the proposal who are all early career researchers will benefit significantly from networking and establishing the area of targeted therapeutic delivery for microbial photodynamic therapy.

The research will involve Chemists, Production Engineers, NHS Medical Physics, Bioengineers, industrial collaborators and a committed team of senior clinicians (Respiratory and Critical Care Physicians, Surgeons and Ophthalmologists) to co-develop and test the technology in a variety of model systems to demonstrate the widespread applicability in applications that involve surfaces such as the skin, wounds, eyes and in the lung. A key ambition of the research will be to pave the way for subsequent clinical development and as such user (clinical and regulatory) input will be paramount at the inception and development of the technology. The research will develop and foster global links with an ethos of "safe, affordable and scalable" solutions that will then have the highest likelihood of clinical adoption in a variety of healthcare settings. The team will leverage existing capability and expertise in manufacturing, regulatory and commercialisation support to expedite development.

In summary, this project will generate;

1) A cutting-edge point of care technology platform which will help patients, doctors and health care workers throughout the world

2) Career development of the early stage researchers

3) Sustainability for the Proteus IRC by launching into targeted therapy of infection

4) Create a sustainable network to disseminate the technology
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.ed.ac.uk