A new biaxial fibre jetting gyrator manufacturing process

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Research in the UCL MechEng Biomaterials laboratory@ucl has resulted in the invention of many novel gyratory processes: pressurised, infusion, pressurised melt, biomineralised pressurised gyration and pressure-coupled infusion, and all these have had EPSRC funding,very high impact and papers detailing these processes have all been featured in leading front covers (see refs 1-6 below). We now take the very adventurous step of making this core gyratory process spin polymeric fibres in two directions simultaneously to weave a bi-directional matt and an apparatus that can do this has just been designed and built in the mechanical engineering workshop and tested successfully. The scene is now set for a doctoral scholar to exploit it as a manufacturing tool, and the planned work is relevant to contribute to the delivery of Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Areas and the Green Paper, "Building Our Industrial Strategy", for example: (i)Manufacturing processes and materials of the future (ii)Leading-edge healthcare and medicine (iii)Bioscience and biotechnology (iv)Creative industries The process will allow the layering of different medicines, antimicrobial agents and even in the preparation of twinned smart textiles. In delivering in areas (ii) and (iii) existing EPSRC collaborations with the UCL School of Pharmacy, UCL Civil Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (microbiologists) and the new liaison with the Professor of Engineering & Surgery in UCL Mech Eng will be harnessed and the project team will involve Profs. Homer-Vanniasinkam, Craig and Dr Ciric. Industrial supported will be provided by BASF who will provide (confirmed) in-kind many types of polymers to be trialled in the process.


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Heseltine P (2018) Macromol. Mater. Eng. 9/2018 in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512400/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
1915132 Studentship EP/R512400/1 25/09/2017 24/12/2021 Phoebe Heseltine
Description My research is focused on manufacturing silk fibroin fibres at scale using the novel manufacturing method, Pressurized Gyration. This work has yielded a new and rapid form of silk fibroin fibre processing - with a move towards green solvents. A review paper on the method has already received over 50 citations as well as journal front cover feature. A further research paper has been published and another is on its way.

• Heseltine, P.L., Hosken, J., Agboh, C., Farrar, D., Homer-Vanniasinkam, S., Edirisinghe, M. 2018. Fiber Formation from Silk Fibroin Using Pressurized Gyration. Macromol. Mater. Eng. 9, 304, 1800577.
• Heseltine, P.L., Ahmed, J., Edirisinghe, M. Developments in Pressurized Gyration for the Mass Production of Polymeric Fibers. Macromolecular materials and engineering. , 2018, Vol.303(9).
Exploitation Route Silk is typically a difficult polymer to process despite its exciting biomaterial properties. Pressurised gyration allows for rapid production of silk fibres. This has the capacity to promote silk as a biomaterial and its use in medical contexts.
Sectors Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology