We are engaged in internationally leading research addressing some of the global healthcare challenges. Research sponsors include the UK research councils (mainly EPSRC), Orthopaedic Research UK, The Royal Society, The Wolfson Foundation, The leverhulme Trust, The Islamic Development Bank, The Danish Agency for Science, Technology & Innovation, The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers and several industries. Clinical work is carried out in conjunction with the Division of Medicine and hospitals affiliated with UCL.
Professor Edirisinghe has several national and international external research collaborations, in particular with Oxford University, Portsmouth University, Leeds University, Cambridge University, Queen Mary University of London, King’s College London, University of Westminster, University of Hertfordshire and universities in the USA (in particular Washington), Turkey, Italy (in particular Padua), Spain (in particular Vigo), China (in particular Chengdu) and Scion, New Zealand. His current research team includes over 15-20 researchers. In addition, several masters and undergraduate students also do their research projects in his laboratory.
Major themes of current investigation include:
(i) Generation and encapsulation of biostructures for prevention and care therapeutics, e.g contrast agents, magnetic vesicles, drug delivery carriers and fibrous structures for food engineering
This work is largely supported by underpinning EPSRC grants, and we collaborate mainly with Oxford University and University of Washington (USA). We invented the preparation of microbubbles using co-jetting in an electric field (EPSRC-Journal of the 2009 Royal Society Interface best paper prize). Subsequent research has led to more innovation; preparation of porous particles and capsules, work that has won the 2009 Royal Society Brian Mercer Innovation Feasibility Award and the 2010 Venture Prize which has led to a core-patent (WO2012/107760 A2) and UCL spin-off company AtoCap Ltd.
Further work with University of Vigo (spain) has led to the preparation of nanogold-armoured bubbles. New microfluidic microbubbling methods developed in collaboration with Washington has also led to the spontaneous generation of particles from bubbles, projects with pharmacuetical companies (e.g. Veloxis in Denmark), UCL Division of Medicine (TIPS microspheres) and clinicians (e.g. Whittington Hospital in London). We can also generate micro-fibres with well-defined aspect ratios using electrospinning to engineer healthier options for the food - industry (e.g. Unilever). Very recent research has enabled the invention of portable and other devices for the controlled mass production of nanofibres, in-situ delivery of wound care patches and preparation of magnetic vesicles (with Leeds University).
(ii) Preparation of coatings (for implants), inserts, scaffolds and new biomaterials for various biomedical engineering sectors
Our novel deposition techniques such as template-assisted electrohydrodynamic atomization which resulted in the concept of inter-locked coatings (core patent PCT/GB2009/00278) has led to extensive funded collaborations with industry (e.g. JRI Ltd.) and Orthopaedic Research UK.