Faculty of Biological Sciences

Research Bulletin

New centre to revolutionise medical technology

27th February 2013

The University of Leeds is leading a £5.7 million, government-backed initiative to transform the way replacement joints and other medical implants are made.

The Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices will bring together academics and industrialists in a bid to maintain the UK's leading role in the medical technologies industry and improve the quality of lives of patients.

It is one of four new centres for innovative manufacturing announced by Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts that will share a pot of £21 million grant funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) when they open later this year.

Professor John Fisher, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will lead the new centre. He said: "The medical technology market is estimated to be worth £200 billion worldwide and demand for medical devices is growing fast, driven by ageing populations that expect longer and fuller lives.

"We want to develop new ways of designing and manufacturing devices that meet the needs of particular patients and bring the manufacturing of devices much closer to them," he added. "Instead of doctors ordering, unpacking and fitting implants, we want devices to be personalised to meet individuals' needs and be made in or near the clinical setting."

The centre will bring together leading companies and five UK centres of excellence in medical technology and manufacturing at Leeds, Newcastle University, the University of Nottingham, the University of Sheffield and the University of Bradford.

The Faculty of Biological Sciences has researchers, such as Professor Eileen Ingham, which are key to this new Centre in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE), one of the UK's leading bioengineering research institutions. It has pioneered work on longer-lasting joint replacements, revolutionary spinal interventions and biological scaffolds for tissue repair that grow with the body.

The initial focus of the new centre's work will be on medical devices for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disease, where the cost of failure is high and the need for devices that keep working for a patient's whole life is clear.

The centre will also develop a network of over 300 industrial partners, academics and clinicians focused on medical device innovation and manufacturing. The network will lead the development of new international standards to overcome barriers to adoption in global markets and support the adoption of new technology in the NHS by working with the new Academic Health Science Networks.

The £21 million for the four new centres for innovative manufacturing was part of a £45 million package of investments in manufacturing research announced by Dr Willetts ahead of the BIS Manufacturing Summit.

"The UK has a proud history of manufacturing but to build on this success industry needs access to the very latest science and technology," Dr Willetts said. "This £45 million package of investment will see our world-class research base investigating innovative new manufacturing equipment and techniques. This will support our industrial strategy in a range of important sectors, driving growth and keeping the UK ahead in the global race."

EPSRC's Chief Executive, Professor David Delpy said: "EPSRC Centres of Innovative Manufacturing are building on previous investments we have made in the research base and combining academic innovation with industry knowledge. These new centres are in areas that are strategically important to the UK and the work there will push research boundaries and drive growth."


Recent Grants

Dave Westhead and colleagues in Experimental Haematology, Cancer Research UK (Jan 2015), £700,521

Sheena Radford, Mark Harris, Peter Stockley, Alan Berry, Alex O'Neill, Thomas Edwards, Adrian Goldman, Anastasia Zhuravleva, Wellcome Trust (Jan 2015), £443,015

Bill Kunin, EU (Jan 2015), £157,490

John Colyer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Fund (Jan 2015), £40,000

Chris Hassall, Royal Society (Dec 2014), £14,500

Ryan Seipke, Royal Society (Nov 2014), £13,700

Alan Berry, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2014), £749,865

Ian Hope, Marie-Anne Shaw, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £396,565

Alison Ashcroft, Peter Stckley, Sheena Radford, Nic Stonehouse, David Brockwell, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £340,937

Les Firbank, Joe Holden, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £210,302

Darren Tomlinson and colleagues in Chemistry and Pathology, anatomy and Tumour Biology, Dr Hadwen Trusy (Oct 2014), £194,475

Paul Knox, EU (Oct 2014), £167,229

Martin Stacey and colleagues in Medicine & Health, Pfizer (Oct 2014), £90,453

Darren Tomlinson and colleagues in Experimental Oncology, YCR (Oct 2014), £69,480

Andrew Macdonald, Jamel Mankouri, Kidney Research Fund UK (Oct 2014), £58,878

Mike McPherson and colleagues in Dentistry and Engineering, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2014), £58,437

Dave Westhead and colleagues in Experimental Haemotology, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Sep 2014), £281,424

Emmanuel Paci and colleagues in Chemistry, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £636,759

Andrew Peel, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £371,598

Lars Jeuken, Stephen Evans, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £333,684

Lars Jeuken, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £313,463

Michelle Peckham, Mark Harris, Rao Sivaprasadarao, Eileen Ingham, Nic Stonehouse, Nikita Gamper, Wellcome Trust (Sep 2014), £192,763

Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Aug 2014), £355,253

Stuart Egginton, BHF (Aug 2014), £271,094

Darren Tomlinson, Mike McPherson, Technology Strategy Board (Aug 2014), £98,665

Peter Henderson, Leverhulme Trust (Aug 2014), £15,222

Mike McPherson (and colleagues in the School of Chemistry), EPSRC (Jul 2014), £819,880

Peter Stockley, Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Jul 2014), £455,787

Sheena Radford, Univesity of Michigan (Jul 2014), £138,452

Ryan Seipke, British Society Antimicrobial Chemistry (Jun 2014), £11,960

John Trinick, BHF (Jun 2014), £222,614

Chris West, Leverhulme Trust (Jun 2014), £181,241

Jon Lippiat, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (May 2014), £125,174

Christine Foyer, Royal Society (May 2014), £24,000

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