Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
February 19, 2016 | Simon Jenkins
With a focus on the research and development of practical medical engineering interventions – and a track record for turning this research into genuine real-world applications – the University’s Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering is driven by a determination to enable more of us to enjoy 50 more active years of life after the age of 50.
Central to this work have been our regenerative biological scaffolds through which our engineers and biologists have harnessed nature to replace damaged tissue. Our patented process strips donor or animal tissue of cells before the implant, leaving a matrix which can be naturally re-populated with the recipient’s own cells, potentially lasting a lifetime.
Already being used to replace heart valves in young patients and repair arteries in patients with vascular disease, the biological scaffold provides a long-term, natural solution for the replacement of tissues and doesn’t rely on patients taking anti-rejection drugs.
Even so, philanthropic support is crucial to adapting this technology for knee repair. Research grants tend to centre on early work in the laboratory. After these initial stages there is then a well-defined “gap” in translating research into clinical use, where funding is harder to come by both from research grants and commercial investors, as the research is too unproven.
This is where a lot of research fails – and where philanthropic investment can make a huge difference by ensuring our fundamental research can be effectively translated into patient benefit, to make a major impact on a range of conditions which cause pain and immobility and are for many a barrier to living life to the full.