This project is a knowledge exchange programme funded by the European FP7 Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES). It is a four-year research project led by Dr Carol Howell at the University of Brighton. The consortium consists of academic partners from the UK, France and Ukraine.
The University of Brighton, as co-ordinators of the project, are working in collaboration with partners to develop coated nanostructured adsorbents which have potential for use in medical applications. The adsorbents have application as a blood purification device to treat a variety of life threatening and chronic inflammatory conditions such as; renal and hepatic insufficiency and sepsis. The consortium also consists of
The project ran from 2010 to 2014.
MEAD-ET is a €113,400 research project which is aiming to synthesise and optimise the manufacture of nanostructured resin derived carbon adsorbents with defined pore structure that can be tailored for maximal adsorptive capacity for both small and large clinically relevant biological toxins. These adsorbents will then be coated with biocompatible coatings such as dextran to improve their blood compatibility. The project will also investigate the relationship between the nanostructure and coating of the materials to their adsorption performance, with the aim of producing a biocompatible material that can be taken forward for future clinical applications.
Through the knowledge exchange activities it has been possible to optimise the synthesis of the activated carbon adsorbent beads produced by IEPOR and transfer this knowledge to the production route used by a UK collaborator MAST Carbon International Ltd to produce carbon adsorbent beads from resin precursors which is more environmentally sustainable process.
These adsorbents were then characterised in terms of their porous nanostructure, and their adsorption capacity investigated for a range of biological toxins that are relevant to both liver disease and inflammatory conditions, such as sepsis. A range of different biocompatible coatings such as dextran and heparin were added to the surface of the materials and their influence on the materials adsorption performance determined with the aim of maximising biocompatibility without hindering adsorption capacity. The project adapted ISO cytotoxicity and haemocompatibility assays to ensure the tests were suitable to investigate the coated carbon adsorbent materials potential for use in blood purification applications.
The project results support the use of dextran coatings to improve haemocompatibility of carbon adsorbent materials, and demonstrated the potential of these materials as a blood purification device to treat a range of both chronic and inflammatory conditions, by adsorbing biological toxins.
Dr Carol Howell
Professor Sergey Mikhalovsky
Dr Lyuba Mikhalovska
C.A. Howell, S.R. Sandeman, Y. Zheng, S.V. Mikhalovsky, V.G. Nikolaev, L.A. Sakhno, E.A. Snezhkova. New dextran coated activated carbons for medical use. CARBON, 2016; 97:134–146.