Biomaterials, Bioengineering and Biomechanics

The key to biocompatibility lies in manipulating the fundamental interactions which occur between the artificial and host biological systems. This requires control over surface properties of biomaterials/device coatings in order to achieve initial compatibility followed by long-term in situ stability to prevent bio-fouling. Success in this field requires an interdisciplinary approach involving the development of novel biomaterials, the modification of existing materials for enhanced compatibility, detailed surface studies and surface-driven processes, and a wide range of long-term viability and monitoring work, including studies in animal models. All three universities already have strong track-records in complementary areas relating to this field.

The Materials group at RGU are internationally recognised for their fundamental surface science, surface engineering and biophysics research. Over the past eight years RGU has invested heavily through capital equipment expenditure and associated technical support and the recruitment of academic research leaders to develop one of the leading UK centres for surface and interface science. A SHEFC RDG award (£0.83m) was granted in 2001, which has extended capability into the fields of biomaterials and bioengineering. Complementary to this, studies at UoD have focused on the development of non-fouling surfaces for implants and surgical instruments, an objective that hopes to overcome this pervasive problem with medical devices. This current research programme at Dundee is supported by Department of Health and EU funding.

Other notable complementary programmes that extend across the three universities involve the development of carbon nanotube (CNT) based systems as the basis for surface control of directed cell growth via electric fields (UoA), for more general self assembled electronic and bioelectronic structures (UoD), and as the templates for protein specific absorption (RGU). It is will be a focus of the present proposal to extend and enhance these individual programmes via the formation of a CNT collaborative group that will, amongst other things, attempt to develop this highly novel material into a functional drug delivery modality.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Andreas Melzer, UoD

Deputy Directors
Radhakrishna Prabhu, UoD

Ian Gibson, UoA

David Lurie, UoA

Fiona Gilbert, UoA

Sandy Cochran, UoD

Eric Abel, UoD