Medical devices

We are uniquely placed to offer expertise in the development of medical devices, thanks to our combination of technology platforms, covering:

  • joint replacements
  • biological and synthetic devices for tissue regeneration and repair
  • robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery, diagnostics and rehabilitation

In each of these areas, we have a successful track record of developing technologies or translating them into clinical use through licensing, spin-out companies and co-development with industry.

Our focus is on healthcare technology segments where there is strong expertise and industry presence regionally and nationally, including:

  • musculoskeletal
  • cardiovascular
  • maxillofacial
  • wound care applications

These technologies can be used to support minimally invasive surgery and diagnostics, and rehabilitation. 

Pre-clinical simulation

Our unique simulation facilities for joint replacement devices have led to improved understanding of how they perform and the co-development of hip and knee replacement devices with industrial partners. 

Tissue decellularisation

We have developed technologies for removing cells and DNA from natural tissues, which have been successfully used in cardiovascular, wound care and musculoskeletal applications. These technologies can now be licensed for a range of tissue types.

The technology has been successfully translated to clinic through a spin-out Tissue Regenix, now worth £100m, and is now used in NHS blood and tissue services. We are now researching ways to apply the processes to more complex load-bearing tissue components, such as cartilage and muscle.

We are also developing and evaluating devices that can extract and manipulate a patient’s own stem cells to treat osteoarthritis.

Tissue regeneration

We are also researching devices for the manipulation of stem cells for regeneration of other tissue types.

We have already successfully translated dental products based on self-assembling peptides that help teeth self-repair. These are now in clinical use.

We are developing the same base materials for further applications in orthopaedics, and woven and non-woven scaffolds for wound repair.

Robotics

We are developing a platform of medical robotics and sensing technologies for a range of applications:

  • minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical devices, using magnetic location control, for colonoscopy and gastric cancer screening
  • robotic systems for rehabilitation which we have advanced to clinical trials in stroke and cerebral palsy
  • soft robotics and sensing systems for applications including diabetic foot ulcer detection.

We are increasingly working on combinations of these technologies to meet more challenging in vivo or real-life biological and mechanical requirements, while delivering improved clinical results and better patient recovery.