GLOBAL - Promoting research partnerships in Advanced Materials for Healthcare

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bradford
Department Name: School of Engineering and Informatics

Abstract

The programme will focus on the strengthening and further development of our university's successful research links with leading researchers in Chinese Universities meeting aligned needs of the UK and China in the strategic area of advanced materials for healthcare, aimed at medical technologies and drug delivery and building on our successful Science Bridges China programme. The overall purpose long term is to help meet the growing healthcare needs of the UK and China, which was identified as one of three UK-China collaborative research priorities by Ministers Willets and Wan in July 2011.
The programme consists of Research projects, and a range of Network and Training activities.
The RESEARCH projects, which are all in the area of Advanced Materials for Healthcare, are grouped into 3 inter-related Streams: Stream 1: Micromoulding & microextrusion & scale effects; Stream 2: Solid phase orientation of polymers & polymer nanocomposites; Stream 3: Enhanced drug delivery & bioavailabilty.
Our proposal concerns controlling the structures of selected advanced materials through precision processing to achieve enhanced, controlled properties, for use in medical devices and technologies. We will explore polymers and polymer nanocomposites and their blends, to develop materials with novel physical properties (conductivity, strength, stiffness or diffusion behaviour) or novel products (including medical devices such as dental treatments, ophthalmic surgical devices, implantable devices (including arthroscopic fixations and orthopaedic implants for spinal repair)), drug delivery systems (e.g. microneedle arrays or drug eluting stents), and diagnostic devices (microfluidics, optical systems). We will also explore pharmaceuticals to enhance drug delivery methods, and drug bioavailability. Greater bioavailability means that less drug can be used to achieve a given effect in treating patients, which may be achieved by different routes such as amending the drug structure during processing of tablets, patches etc. (e.g. co-crystallisation) to enhance drug solubility in patients, or by physical particle size and form changes using supercritical fluids.
NETWORKS & TRAINING are really 'People Bridges' activities - making trusting links between researchers, developing younger staff, leads to teams working for each other, opening up new opportunities and joint responses to challenges. Various mechanisms will be used to promote people bridges and subsequent collaborative projects and outputs. These include developing further our UK-China state of the art research Network, based on our extensive current Science Bridges China network, in which we have research collaborations with 18 leading Chinese universities and institutions, in the field of healthcare technologies. We will continue to proactively include other UK universities and companies in network events and project proposals with China, and healthcare sector companies in China and the UK. We will launch the UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI), in April 2012 at a Research Workshop in Chengdu. We will enable significant Researcher Exchanges with China, all of which will involve Research Training, and hold up to 4 Research Workshops in our theme. We will develop joint publications, joint IP and joint research student supervision, and encourage the formation of joint research laboratories (similar to the one Bradford recently formed with Sichuan University, in Polymer Micro Processing). We will continue to build on the very high visibility Science Bridges China has in China, including ongoing dialogues with the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Education.

Planned Impact

Main beneficiaries of the outputs from the programme are intended to be (a) patients through enhanced treatments or technology, (b) the health delivery services who will apply the products, (c) associated companies in Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical Sciences who will make the products, and, of course, (d) increasing international research engagement in each of the collaborating organisations - Bradford and our Chinese partner institutions, and our UK collaborators (University partners and Medilink Y&H). Other parties will have opportunity to benefit from our Training and Research networks. Since the programme aims to focus on advanced materials for development of products aligned with the strategic priorities of both the Chinese and British governments in their respective health delivery policies and associated industries, we believe that there is also national and international value in the programme. In the short term, organisations involved in research and development of medical devices and medical technology solutions, including drug delivery systems will be the primary beneficiaries. Manufacturers of materials processing machinery will benefit, as will companies specialising in modelling and process monitoring instrumentation. Outputs from the proposed research will inform regulatory bodies, such as those operating within the medical technology and drugs sector, of emerging aspects of manufacturing process monitoring and control. The research will have medium-term benefits to the UK, China and international medical technology, pharmaceutical and associated sectors, and wider long-term benefits to the public through the possibility of novel medical devices and technologies, and therapeutic treatments. The understanding of the mechanism and kinetics of development of polymer and polymer-related morphologies during processing may enable the selection of new combinations of materials or novel processing routes to enable products or production outputs which are currently not possible. Significant potential for IP and commercial exploitation will benefit the healthcare sector of the UK economy by enhancing global competitiveness. Improved process understanding achieved through this project will support and facilitate regulatory monitoring processes. The wider manufacturing and chemical industries will benefit from the development and commercialisation of materials/products and applications which result from the enhanced manufacturing routes. In the longer term (5-10 years) it is envisaged that the healthcare sector and public wellbeing will benefit from the new materials, products and technologies developed from our research programme. Dissemination of the research and its findings will be actively promoted through communication with relevant academic and industrial contacts through conference and journal publications reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the research, our Science BridgesChina website and our Research Workshops in the UK and China (details are provided in the Pathways to Impact). We have strong industry links, and projects with industry which underline the importance of the development of advanced materials for medical technologies - we will encourage involvement of such companies where feasible. Exploitation of the research findings will be achieved initially through contract research activities. Commercial development of the project will be investigated by the University's Research and Knowledge Transfer Support unit. A business plan will be developed detailing service provision, routes to market, resource requirements and funding. Opportunities for further industry collaboration will be investigated throughout the duration of the project. The assembled project team have a strong track record in applied collaborative research, international collaborative research, running successful large scale programmes, and experience of successful commercialisation of leading academic research
 
Description The Global Engagements grant builds on our most successful Science Bridges China platform (EP/G042365/1), with a stronger emphasis on Advanced Materials for Healthcare; it has developed further and strengthened the research community we established under Science Bridges China, across UK universities (Bradford, Durham, Leeds, Sheffield in particular) and over 20 leading Chinese universities and Chinese Academy of Science groups. This has further increased the visibility of the platform, with clear recognition of our activities by Uk and Chinese government agencies, plus a range of international research cooperation awards. See also the Science Bridges China (EP/G042365/1) comments in Research Fish.
Exploitation Route The development of our community with China and UK institutions is allowing continuing opportunity for building capacity and capability. See also the Science Bridges China (EP/G042365/1) comments in Research Fish.
Sectors Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.ukchina-amri.com
 
Description The Bradford RCUK Science Bridges China programme (www.sciencebridgeschina.com) and this following grant, Global Engagements has had major impact on UK links with leading Chinese academics in advanced materials (particularly polymer-related) for healthcare, and pharmaceuticals, including drug delivery, has continued to include some aspects of drug discovery. We have developed further our collaborations with over 20 leading Chinese groups, and have continued to regularly involve academics from Bradford, Sheffield, Durham, Leeds and York, plus Warwick in our meetings. We have run six major Research Workshops (alternating between the UK and China), and six open innovation workshops funded by Chinese local governments (Chuzhou, Guangzhou) and recently & ongoing, Yorkshire Cancer Research. The University of Bradford established a Joint International Laboratory for Polymer Microprocessing with Sichuan University in July 2010, which has continued to flourish and led to the prestigious '111' programme award in China. Two other Joint International Laboratories have been formed - in CIACCAS Changchun, for Polymer Process Physics, Sep 2015, and BUCT for Soft Matter Technologies, Dec 2016. We formed the UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute (www.ukchina-amri.com) in April 2012 - we have a strongly developed community, with research exchanges, joint publications, joint IP, joint international grants (including NSFC, MOST, MRC-MOST, EPSRC) and interactions with industry and hospitals, both in the UK and China. A booklet giving fuller details of the programme is available on the web sites: www.sciencebridgeschina.com and www.ukchina-amri.com. This shows the visibility of the platform, with clear recognition of our activities by Uk and Chinese government agencies, plus a range of international research cooperation awards - culminating in the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award from the People's Republic of China - the top award for a foreign scientist, in Jan 2018.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description British Council Newton Researcher Links 'Healthcare Technologies for Aging Populations'
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 227337704 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 01/2017
 
Description Oriented polymer processing - Sinopec BRICI
Amount £357,000 (GBP)
Organisation Sinopec Group 
Sector Private
Country China
Start 07/2018 
End 06/2021
 
Description Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 1314RECI013 
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 05/2015
 
Description Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship
Amount £111,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NA150222 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2018
 
Description UK-China Low Carbon Manufacturing
Amount £1,150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID S018573/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2022
 
Title UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute 
Description A database of capability of individual researchers in advanced materials for healthcare, particularly related to polymers, but including aspects of drug delivery and drug discovery, from the Science Bridges China and Global Engagements platform of research collaborations. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact building a community of researchers across the UK and China 
URL http://www.ukchina-amri.com
 
Description Aterius oriented polymer stents 
Organisation Arterius Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution precision small scale die drawing of bioresorbable polymers to make oriented tubes, used to laser cut stents. Shared IP with Arterius
Collaborator Contribution Original approach to us from Arterius, IP (shared), for use of our oriented polymer routes.
Impact the only British drug eluting, resorbable stent - currently close to commercialisation, in trials. Combination of engineering sciences and pharmaceutical science.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Joint International Laboratory for Polymer Micro Processing 
Organisation Sichuan University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Establishment of a micro moulding facility in Sichuan, to mirror the (more extensive) facilities in Bradford, to develop further our collaborative research. Joint IP for conducting polymer products.
Collaborator Contribution Materials engineering expertise, including polymer nano composite products, especially for electrically conducting products. Joint IP for conducting polymer products.
Impact Joint publications. Joint IP
Start Year 2010
 
Description Joint International Laboratory for Soft Matter Technologies 
Organisation Beijing University of Technology
Department College of Environmental and Energy Engineering
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting Researcher Exchanges leading to joint publications; advisory role with respect to development of particular technologies
Collaborator Contribution sending researchers to our laboratory, leading to joint publications; Support (from Prof Zhang Liqun) for meetings with the Ministry of Science & Technology in Beijing
Impact joint publications
Start Year 2016
 
Description Joint Laboratory for Polymer Process Physics 
Organisation Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Royal Society Newton award, following Science Bridges China researcher exchanges (two way)
Collaborator Contribution High quality x-ray analysis of oriented polymers
Impact Journal papers (Macromolecules)
Start Year 2015
 
Description Sinopec solid phase orientation project 
Organisation Sinopec Group
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution research skills and facilities for solid phase orientation processing of polymers
Collaborator Contribution materials manipulation and supply
Impact confidential to company
Start Year 2013
 
Description Smith & Nephew programmes 
Organisation Smith and Nephew
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution solid phase processing of polymers and development of shape memory materials and products for tissue fixations. Joint IP on these materials and products.
Collaborator Contribution Development of shape memory materials and products for tissue fixations. Joint IP on these materials and products. Clinical challenges and assistance.
Impact extensive knowledge on shape memory materials for potential products in fixations. Combination of physics, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, biomaterials, medical technology.
 
Title Methods to improve the electrical conductivity for moulded plastic parts 
Description micromoulded polyurethane with carbon nanotubes has high levels of conductivity after post-processing annealing; potential use in medical devices 
IP Reference WO2012089998 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed Yes
Impact micromoulded polyurethane with carbon nanotubes has high levels of conductivity after post-processing annealing has potential use in medical devices
 
Description Article in China Daily, 9 Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact China Daily article in Beijing, after the Award Ceremony for the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, presented by President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. Prof Phil Coates was one of the seven foreigners honoured with the award. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201801/09/WS5a53fa36a31008cf16da5d10.html
 
Description British Council Newton Researcher Links Workshop for Early Career Researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 13 UK-China Researcher Exchanges (funded separately from the Workshop) are being set up to run before Sep 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ukchina-amri.com
 
Description CCTV longer interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact CCTV mainstream news - my experience of the Golden Era through my research collaborations, and a celebration of the top award in China to a foreign scientist.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ukchina-amri.com
 
Description China Daily Europe article on top award in China made to Prof Phil Coates; 12 Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact China Daily article in Europe, after the Award Ceremony in Beijing for the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, presented by President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. Prof Phil Coates was one of the seven foreigners honoured with the award. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201801/12/WS5a57acafa3102c394518ea1e.html
 
Description Chinese International Award 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Articles in China Daily - in English - in the UK and China; and other Chinese national newspapers concerning the Award to Prof Coates of the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award, the top award in China for a foreign scientist.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ukchina-amri.com
 
Description ECNS China article on top Chinese Award to Prof Phil Coates, 12 Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact ECNS article in Beijing, after the Award Ceremony for the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, presented by President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. Prof Phil Coates was one of the seven foreigners honoured with the award. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/01-12/288042.shtml
 
Description Interview for CCTV 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview of 3 leading UK people for opinion on developments in China, based on our experience - in my case research collaborations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description SPE International Award in Plastics News (USA based publication, also in Europe and Asia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Announcement of the Society of Plastics Engineers Intenational award, the top award of the SPE, to Prof Phil Coates. This increases the visibility of the UK in the polymer engineering research area, where Prof Coates directs the world-leading Polymer IRC. The Award will be presented in May 2018 at the SPE major international conference, with a Plenary lecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20180222/NEWS/180229963/spe-names-annual-award-winners-antec-spe...
 
Description Sichuan University article following top China Award to Prof Phil Coates in Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Sichuan University article, after the Award Ceremony for the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, presented by President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. Prof Phil Coates was one of the seven foreigners honoured with the award. He is an Honorary Professor and High End Foreign Professor of Sichuan University, who are one of the main collaborators with Bradford and others in our ongoing Science Bridges China programme. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.scu.edu.cn/en/news/webinfo/2018/01/1514127424326967.htm
 
Description Xinhua article on China Award for Prof Coates 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Xinhua press article in Beijing, after the Award Ceremony for the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, presented by President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. Prof Phil Coates was one of the seven foreigners honoured with the award. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/08/c_136880680_10.htm
 
Description article in China Daily, 19 Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview of Prof Coates by China Daily in Beijing, after he received the International Science & Technology Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China, Jan 2018, from President Xi Jinping and other leaders. This is the top award in China for foreigners. It increased the visibility of the UK in China (Prof Coates was only the sixth UK citizen to receive this award in over 20 years) and has given further momentum to the UK-China advanced materials for healthcare research community which he founded, and continues to lead, from the EPSRC-funded Science Bridges China platform. This top Award has very great significance for our key Chinese collaborators, and will promote and strengthen our research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201801/19/WS5a61c69fa3106e7dcc13562d.html