A bespoke national facility to test innovative nanotechnologies for healthcare applications is to be established at the University of Strathclyde.
The University has received £ 853,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to create the Multiscale Metrology Suite (MMS) for Next Generation Health Nanotechnologies.
The facility will provide scientists across the UK with access to cutting-edge materials analysis technology, supporting the discovery of future diagnostics and therapies. It will be a one-of-a-kind facility in the UK, enabling combined physical and chemical analysis of nanotechnology prototypes.
The combined investment of Strathclyde and EPSRC amounts to more than £ 1.6 million.
Dr Zahra Rattray, Chancellor’s Researcher and Lecturer in Translational Pharmacy at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, is the principal investigator of the project. She said: “Nanotechnology for health is a rapidly growing sector, as evidenced by vaccines developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased use of nanotechnology in cancer diagnostics and therapies.
Before new drugs enter the clinical arena, early testing of their performance and properties is essential. This investment in MMS gives us a unique ability to be at the forefront of analytical science and to discover much more about the design and performance of these therapies. “
Dr Zahra Rattray, Chancellor Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Translational Pharmaceuticals, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
“We are excited about the new opportunities the MMS will create with the proposal partners – the government chemist’s lab, the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Center for Process Innovation – as well as with the wider UK and international nanotechnology communities. , to meet the challenges. faced with the conception of nanomedicine. “
Professor Peter Simpson, Scientific Director of Medicines Discovery Catapult, added: “At MDC we have identified that in the UK there are gaps in technology, infrastructure and expertise that are preventing innovators from advancing complex drugs rapidly towards validation and clinical evaluation. , and we are committed to helping fill this gap.
“So I am delighted to see this metrology suite being created. The facilities will enable better analysis of physicochemical quality attributes for a diverse portfolio of new approaches to healthcare development. “
Analyzing nanotechnology for healthcare applications is currently a complex and difficult process, requiring the use of multiple technologies, often resulting in delays in the development of new drugs or product failure at later stages of clinical trials. . As a modular suite combining the latest detection technologies in a single configuration, MMR will push the existing limits in the analysis of new nanotechnologies by allowing multiple analyzes to be performed on the same sample.
The data generated from these measurements will allow researchers to improve their understanding of the properties that determine the performance and safety of new drugs based on nanotechnology. It will also provide an environment in which nanotechnology researchers from academia and industry can access the facility, test new prototypes and develop new workflows.
The research is linked to Strathclyde’s HealthTech cluster, one of the university’s six research and innovation capacity clusters. The cluster draws on interdisciplinary expertise in the fields of health, engineering, life sciences and social sciences, with industry-related themes in medical diagnostics and wearable devices, healthcare digital and advanced rehabilitation, as well as a focus on AI for healthcare, machine learning, and data science. and data analysis.