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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R020957/1
Title: New Industrial Systems: Manufacturing Immortality
Principal Investigator: Race, Professor PR
Other Investigators:
Bingham, Professor PA Pang, Dr W Mativenga, Professor PT
Charnley, Professor F Perry, Professor J Dawson, Dr R J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Ellen Macarthur Foundation ITM Power Plc
National Nuclear Laboratory Overlander Batteries Siemens
The Data Lab Zentraxa Ltd
Department: Biochemistry
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 March 2018 Ends: 30 November 2021 Value (£): 2,206,901
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Design Engineering
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The development of future real-world technologies will be dependent on our ability to understand and harness the underlying principles of living systems, and to direct communication between biological parts and man-made materials. Recent advances in DNA synthesis, sequencing and ultra-sensitive analytical techniques amongst others, have reignited interest in extending the repertoire of functional materials by interfacing them with components derived from biology, blurring the boundary between the living and non-living world. These bio-hybrid systems hold great promise for use in a range of application areas including, for example, the sensing of toxins or pollutants in our environment, diagnosing life-threatening ilnesses in humans and animals, or delivering drugs to specific locations within patients bodies to treat a range of diseases, e.g. cancer.

During this project we propose to develop innovative manufacturing methods to enable the reliable and scaleable production of evolvable bio-hybrid systems that possess the inherent ability to sense and repair damage, so-called 'immortal' products. This will ultimately lead to the development of products and devices that can continue to function without needing repair or replacement over the course of their life. For example, imagine a mobile phone that can self-repair its own screen after being dropped, or a circuit board in a laptop computer that can repair itself after being short-circuited. The outputs of this project have the potential to provide solutions to some of our greatest societal challenges and by doing so to reinvigorate the UK manufacturing industry by establishing it as a world leader in the production of self-healing systems. We propose to focus our efforts on three specific application areas. These are:

1. Electrochemical energy devices, e.g. fuel cells and batteries that are needed to power our everyday lives, from mobile phones to electric cars.

2. Consumer electronics, which underpin many of the core technologies that we encounter and use on a day-to-day basis, e.g. computers or televisions.

3. Safety critical systems that are used in the nuclear industry and deep sea technologies, e.g. deep sea cables that can withstand many years of use without needing to be replaced.

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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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk