Medical nanotech project wins funding boost

Medical nanotech project wins funding boost

Cash helps boffins develop 'intelligent' airbags and portable energy cells

UK research agency Cenamps has announced that its EnFACE project has received a funding boost of £90,000.

EnFACE focuses on how to apply micro-level and nano-level patterns to medical implants such as hip replacements to improve tissue adhesion and the success rate of operations.

The technologies should greatly reduce the need for expensive and labour-intensive photolithography techniques.

The money will allow EnFACE to research the application of its techniques across a broader range of products, such as intelligent airbags which can 'sense' danger, and portable energy cells that could replace rechargeable batteries.

The investment comes from NorthStar Equity Investors through its Proof of Concept Fund and will further boost the project which is being undertaken at Newcastle University.

"This funding represents a major step forward in our work. Early indications show that there are huge benefits of the technique for the medical implant sector," said Professor Sudipta Roy of EnFACE.

"Now we are looking at a variety of other uses. We are currently identifying potential market areas, but already know that our method of manufacturing energy is cheaper than the present process of making micro fuel cells."

EnFACE's nano-level and micro-level patterns can speed up the process of manufacturing portable energy systems that power electrical goods.

The systems use fewer raw materials and thus reduce cost and offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to nickel-cadmium batteries, which use more toxic materials when being produced.