Replacement human tissue research at UCL nets £1.7m grant
13 October 2008
Breakthrough work at UCL’s Tissue Repair and Engineering Centre (TREC) at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has won £1.7m in translational funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The award was made to support research into biomimetics by Professor Robert Brown, Head of Centre for Tissue Regeneration Science at UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences. Biomimetics are synthetic tissues that mimic organic ones, and Professor Brown has been developing a prototype machine that can rapidly fabricate them.
The new grant means Professor Brown’s team can develop a high-speed machine that can be used as a platform for any biomimetic application; cornea, skin, bone and nerves – not only do synthetic tissues obviate the need for donors, but they also virtually eliminate the risk of rejection in the new host.
In a deal brokered by UCL Business, Professor Brown’s team will be partnered by The Automation Partnership; a Herts-based company that specialises in developing production systems for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Professor Brown said: “I’m extremely pleased. The Automation Partnership (TAP) are perfect partners and the TSB grant will allow us to take this exciting technology through to the next phase of product development”.
Image shows Professor Brown, UCL Institute of Orthopaedics.