£645k boost for University nanotechnology research

Researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology have been awarded more than £645K of funding for a nanotechnology research project that aim to revolutionise drug delivery for prevention and treatment.

The funds have been awarded to the University, for a project led by Dr Marco Siccardi in collaboration with Dr Neill Liptrott, as part of the SAFE-N-MEDTECH consortium, a European H2020 NMBP (Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing) project involving researchers from the University of Liverpool in addition to 27 other organisations around Europe.

Nano-enabled medical technologies can be applied in nearly every medical area, with a major presence and increased importance in cancer, regenerative medicine, advanced therapies, neurology, cardiology, orthopaedics, and dentistry. However, there remains a number of questions about their development and the mitigation of risks relating to their efficacy and safety due to their complexity in design and application.

As part of the project the researchers will examine the bio distribution and safety of Nano-enabled medical technologies in health as they relate to their use in humans.

The aim of the SAFE-N-MEDTECH project is to build an, innovative, open access platform providing reference laboratories that have capabilities, expertise, experience, networks and services that are required for developing medical technologies. Specifically, this relates to the testing, evaluation, optimisation and marketing of nanotechnology enabled diagnostic medical devices throughout the products’ entire lifecycle. This platform enables developers and stakeholders such as Pharmaceutical companies, SMEs, healthcare providers and industries to access a, multi-disciplinary, platform dedicated to understanding the materials, properties, and applications in the medical technology sector.

Dr Siccardi, said: “The open access platform that will be developed is unique and will support the development of innovative Nano-enabled medical technologies for prevention and treatment with potential benefits for both patients and the NHS. The project is based on exciting collaborative network in Europe, providing exceptional opportunities for future collaborations, through the application of cutting-edge research strategies.”

Dr Liptrott, said “Nanotechnology offers great promise for the diagnosis and treatment of a number of clinical conditions. The work we are doing within this project, as well as more broadly across the University, will facilitate the translation of these novel technologies to clinical studies and beyond.”

The SAFE-N-MEDTECH project is part of the Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) initiative from the European Commission, a new and challenging approach towards upscaling the use of nanotechnologies in Europe and abroad and seeks to address these issues. It represents an investment of £15.8m over four years.