Industrial Liaison Group:
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Innovative use of technology, together with rigorous controls to ensure product security, is needed to meet demanding requirements for healthcare technology development, particularly around cost, reliability, portability, and usability.
A good understanding of the science behind the product and access to the widest possible variety of research and development tools is vital to ensure success and speed up time to market.
Diamond provides specialist analytical techniques for the atomic to microscale characterisation of materials ranging from high-performance components and devices to diagnostic tools and drug delivery technologies.
Below are some examples of how these techniques have been applied.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans via infected mosquitos and has been classed as a category B priority pathogen.
Although many cases are mild, the virus can cause chronic disease and long-term debilitating joint pain in patients.
Since 2004, chikungunya has spread rapidly and has been identified in over 60 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. There is currently no vaccine or specific drug against the virus.
The process of electrospinning has been around for many years. It was originally used for the development of textiles; however in the last 5-10 years, this method has been used for more innovative applications.
Electrospinning uses electric forces to draw charged threads of polymer solutions or polymer melts to create fibres with diameters of a few micrometres. It enables the generation of constructs with large surface areas and a fibrous morphology that closely resemble the macromolecular structure of many tissue matrices; it therefore provides a good structure for cell attachment, tissue regeneration, and even drug delivery.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects 200 million people worldwide and contributes to 8.9 million fractures annually. The condition causes a loss of bone mass and structure which in turn leads to bones becoming weak and breaking, usually during a trip or fall. The disease is prevalent in people over 55, and in particular women, due to the loss of oestrogen hormone during the menopause. Osteoporosis is becoming increasingly prevalent in men who receive cancer therapies which supress testosterone levels. Bisphosphonates are a family of medicines which are commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis. The most common types are alendronate and zoledronate which aim to strengthen osteoporotic bones by slowing down the activity of bone cells.Read more...
Malaria is one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases of humans and affects 216 million people worldwide. Many years of research have been dedicated to finding the most effective and affordable drugs to prevent infection, which have to date been very successful. Most recently the challenge has been the growth in resistance to existing treatments, which has driven further research into a new generation of anti-malarial drugs.Read more...
Antibiotic resistance is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society. There are high proportions of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that cause common infections, for example urinary tract infections, and it is patients with these infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria that are generally at increased risk of worse clinical outcomes and death. These patients consume more health-care resources than patients infected with the same bacteria that are drug-resistant. Developing new treatments to tackle this worldwide problem is therefore of paramount importance.Read more...
Gallium (Ga) based salts show very promising anticancer properties. However, the maindrawbacks of therapy with Ga salts is the need for slow, long-term infusion to avoid the toxicities associated with high plasma levels of Ga, and the poor bioavailability when the drug is dosed via the oral route.Read more...
Lung surfactant proteins are essential proteins found in the surfactant layer at the air-water interface of the lung. They provide the first line of defence for the body when exposed to ozone, present as a secondary pollutant in ambient air. It is known that ozone exposure can cause respiratory distress and can lead to increased hospital admissions and even death. The actual mechanism by which ozone disrupts the respiratory system is not well understood.Read more...
By 2021, a million people in the UK will have dementia and yet the cause of the condition is still unknown. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal age-related neurodegenerative disorder characterised by extensive neuronal loss in the higher brain centres, resulting in cognitive decline, memory loss and psychosis. It has been suggested that areas of AD pathology are corresponding to the increased concentrations of brain iron and the toxic form of iron builds up in the same location as the brain lesions caused by Alzheimer’s disease.Read more...
Approximately 20 million people worldwide suffer from cancer which is one of the main causes of death. A definitive diagnosis is not always possible from a biopsy as some early stage abnormal cells cannot be detected using conventional methods. Understanding the micro-biological changes leading to the onset of these diseases is vital to develop methods for early diagnosis and new treatments.Read more...
Since 1996, approximately 1.5m patients have had metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacements worldwide. This technology has been shown to work well in the medium term, even for highly active patients; however, young patients require this device to operate for up to 50 years. Significantly, in up to 10% of patients the implant has to be removed prematurely, within five years of implantation. Therefore, a better understanding of the mechanism of failure is needed to develop fully biocompatible implants, for which there has been a predicted soaring demand over the next twenty years.Read more...
Artificial heart valves have been used since the 1960s to replace natural heart valves damaged through disease. Each of the four valves enables unimpeded blood flow through the heart itself and from the heart to the major arteries. As the heart beats the valve opens and closes, subjecting it to pressure loading and unloading. Artificial heart valves must be able to withstand repeated cycles of tensile loading and unloading in realistic biomedical conditions.Read more...
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