The award will bring together Surrey’s world-class expertise in materials and nano-technology with leading stem cell researchers at Irvine. It will develop new methods for studying and growing human embryonic stem cells, leading to new stem cell based therapies to treat human diseases. The research will tackle a key problem in growing embryonic stem cells, possible contamination from using 'feeder' cells and nutrients derived from animals. Surrey’s work will lead to the development of wholly synthetic materials to create the structures on which stem cells are grown, reducing contamination of the new stem cells and increasing their safety.
The research has been made possible by the existence of the SETsquared collaborative programme between the four SETsquared partners (Universities of Surrey, Bath, Bristol and Southampton) and the University of California at San Diego and Irvine. The programme supports collaboration by providing pump priming funding to allow academics from the UK and US to meet and discuss detailed plans for initial experiments and proposal development. The programme also provides support in bid writing.
Further funding will be sought to develop the work further and commercialise it. Key polymer and nanotechnology companies have already expressed an interest in developing applications based on the results of this research.
Professor Peter Donovan, co-director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine comments that the work: "could facilitate methods for expanding stem cells in the scale required for both cell-based therapies and for high throughput drug screening. In addition, it may well turn out to be necessary to use such technology to develop certain specialised cells, such as bone, cartilage or muscle cell types which normally develop under stress."
The University of Surrey’s Research & Enterprise Support department (RES) has been instrumental in setting up the UK/US programme and in supporting the development of this bid. RES will also provide ongoing support in IP protection and commercialisation.
Stuart Miller | alfa
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Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
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