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Electrically modified biomaterials surface (BioElectricSurface)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cardiovascular diseases cause half the deaths in the EU. It is also the main cause of years of life lost (over 30 per cent) in early death thus causing huge pressure on the labour force and family earnings. The problem is becoming more acute in Central and Eastern European countries. Due to the ageing population in the EU, osteoporosis related bone fractures have almost doubled in the last decade. It is estimated that 40 percent of women over 50 years in age will suffer from fractures due to low density bone. The European Commission considers the application of nanotechnology an important research strategy to address these problems. For this, design and control of biomaterial at the nanometer scale is set as a strategic research priority. Europe is, however, seriously under-represented in the global market for nanotherapeutics, where the United States dominates with three-quarter of the market share. While the drive for nanoscale understanding of biological interaction can be high, the application of this knowledge in marketable devices should also be prioritised. Here, we propose electrical modification of biomaterials surface to manipulate surface charge that will mediate bio/non bio interactions in vivo. We propose novel nanoscale techniques to probe this surface charge at the nanometer scale so that we have a quantitative insight to biological interaction at the biomedical device surfaces. Such an approach will help us to scale up electrical modification in cardiovascular stents, urological stents, orthopedic implants and photosterilisation devices. The research proposed here will not only provide nanoscale understanding of biological interactions on biomaterials surface but also result in novel applications and devices, which will penetrate into the market in short to medium term.
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