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Molecularly Imprinted Nanofibres for Tissue Engineering, Affinity Depletion and Biosensor Applications (MIFs4BioMed)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Molecular imprinted polymers and electrospun nanofibres are both hot topics individually in the biomedical sciences, with applications including tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, drug release, affinity chromatography and biosensors. This proposal combines these two leading-edge approaches to generate entirely novel materials with broad utility in biomedical engineering. Molecular imprinting is a form of template assisted synthesis that facilitates the creation of artificial receptors that can have affinity constants as high as their natural counterparts. Electrospinning (ES) is one of the most broadly used techniques for fabrication of nanostructured materials. ES uses electrical forces to produce continuous fibres having diameters in range of few nanometers to several micrometers. ES offers several technical advantages such as extremely high surface area per unit volume, tunable porosity, flexibility for adapting it to different shapes and sizes, and possibilities for controlling nanofibre composition.In this proposal, we have focused on next generation molecular imprinting using reactive electrospinning to obtain directly imprinted nanofibres. We will demonstrate the utility of this new nanofabrication technology in three key areas: active agent carriers in regenerative medicine, affinity depleting membranes in blood-related proteomics, and biorecognition elements for biosensors. The multidisciplinary nature of the project will make important contributions to the development and validation of new therapies, sustainable and efficient healthcare systems, and strengthening the competitiveness and innovative capacity of European health-related industries. We will be working at the frontiers of two leading research areas having the potential to attract the attention of the researcher community not only in Europe, but also world wide, and to make significant contribution to EU’s research priorities, sustainable development and scientific competencies.
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