The research in biomaterials for regenerative medicine and medical devices at the University of Brighton was established in 1993. Our flagship throughout these years has been the development of biomaterials capable of full integration with the surrounding tissue.
In particular we have developed methods to functionalise the surface of conventional polymers, metals and ceramics to give them enhanced biocompatibility and tissue regeneration properties. The more recent addition of expertise in engineering and advanced manufacturing methods contributes to the unique and highly competitive character of our innovation.
Our research aims to provide material based solutions to emerging global health and environmental priorities. In broad terms we undertake research into the structure, design and functional performance of natural and synthetically derived pure and composite biomaterials with diagnostic or therapeutic impact on living systems. Our research is organised into the overlapping research areas of nanostructured biomaterials, smart and bioresponsive biomaterials and the biointerface. Key strengths are in the blend of fundamental and applied research involving international innovation networks with academic, industrial and clinical partners to maximise research training potential and translational impact. This allows a range of diverse and multidisciplinary research interests surrounding the structure, design and functional performance of advanced materials for use in biological and environmental systems. The applications for these materials range from medical device technologies and tissue constructs, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, cardiovascular stenting, biosensor systems in disease diagnosis, ophthalmic biomaterials, materials which moderate host response biology, environmental decontamination and smart textile design.
A sustained joint research partnership with Biocompatibles UK Ltd has stimulated innovation underpinning the company’s product development pipeline. Products include a family of soft contact lenses, enhanced medical device coatings, and novel treatments for liver cancer. Innovative enhancements, such as the unique non-biofouling nature of the company’s ocular and cardiovascular devices and the practical utility of its drug eluting therapies for targeting liver malignancies, have delivered improved clinical performance and differentiated these products from those of competitors in the same markets. Data produced by our researchers underpinned the submission to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the claim: ‘may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear’; this is the only contact lens worldwide cleared for this claim.
Innovation oversight has been managed by Professor Andrew Lloyd and Professor Andrew Lewis (Biocompatibles UK Ltd) and further informed through Lloyd’s appointment as an ongoing scientific consultant to the company. The joint advancement of knowledge through the partnership has stimulated and supported innovation within the company, leading to ongoing marketing benefits for existing products, new material applications, new products and patents. The company’s continuing success in developing innovative medical technology products was recognised by the sale of Biocompatibles UK for £177m in 2011.
Nanoporous carbon adsorbent beads for liver fibrosis and cirrhosis
Investigating porous materials for the removal of biotoxins from blood and organ perfusion fluid.
An adsorbent device to promote toxin removal during haemodialysis
Delivering a photodynamic therapeutic dressing that can be applied on-demand
Helping to develop porosity optimisation and coating technologies for nanoporous carbon materials for hemoperfusion applications.
New materials capable of adsorbing odours from malodorous wounds
Nanostructured materials for the control of contaminants detrimental to health
Dual function polymer materials for blood contracting applications
While capitalising on the feedback of clinicians, we are also able to predict biological responses through the development of mathematical models and in-vitro cell models. This is done particularly through the development of organoids, the formation of which is driven by biomimetic biomaterials, with testing that is integrated in microfluidics systems.