Scientific Domains

Biomaterials

Biomaterials are those materials that interact with biological systems. Biomaterials are often used in medical technologies to augment or replace a natural function. MTIF has extensive capabilities in the development, fabrication and testing of biomaterials. Our expertise and world class facilities enable partners to access a variety of approaches including electrospinning, 3D printing of composites including polymers and metals as well as solid form fabrication. We can engineer further surface modifications in the form of functional coatings to modify the release of therapeutic agents or to control cellular function. We have a variety of analytical capabilities essential in guiding successful biomaterial development including techniques to assess biological attributes, chemical composition, magnetic properties, mechanical loading, porosity, release profiles and stiffness.

Cell, Molecule and Material Interaction

Cell, Molecule and Material Interaction is an essential component in the development of the next generation therapies including Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs). Our capabilities cover core discovery techniques utilising both primary derived human and animal cells as well as immortalised cell lines in static and flow bioreactors. We utilise primary, terminally differentiated and progenitor cell sources to evaluate biocompatibility. MTIF is able to develop in vitro platforms such as 3D tissue analogues, enabling the development of cellular models using tissue-on-a-chip, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats – associated protein-9 nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9) or combinations of both approaches. We are able to fully characterise materials including testing to IS010993.

Robotics

Robotics are playing an increasingly important role in health and care applications. Our capabilities enable the development of semi-autonomous robotic systems in areas as diverse as in-hospital surgical logistics and systems that assist surgeons in delicate spinal operations where accuracy is paramount. We can support the development of your companion and assistive robotic systems from early prototyping through testing in our Integrated Theatre Suite to clinical testing in our partner NHS Trusts.

Smart textiles

Smart textiles are conventional fabrics containing integrated electronic functionality. MTIF works across three broad categories – Textiles with a sensing function referred to as passive, smart textiles, Textiles with an actuating function described as active, smart textiles, Textiles with an adaptive function called ultra-smart textiles containing a sensor, actuator and processor to tailor their output. MTIF offers two approaches to smart textile production, yarn integrated with discrete electronic components encapsulated within a textile sleeve to form a functional yarn and printed smart textiles where the electronic circuit is formed directly on the textile using functional inks.

Product Development Capabilities

Product Design and Prototyping

Product Design and Prototyping is a vital step in taking medical technologies from bench to bedside. MTIF can rapidly create prototypes in degradable or non-degradable forms utilising polymers, composites, metals as well as organic and inorganic blends. Working with our NHS partners we are able to engage patients in our product design process ensuring your product delivers an exceptional patient experience. Throughout the product design process, we ensure your products are Designed for Manufacture and Designed for the Environment. Our multi-disciplinary approach enables us to combine our Product Design, Prototyping and Biomaterials expertise to provide, for example, complex 3D porous or anisotropic materials in combination with surface modification techniques to produce and assess bespoke therapeutic interventions

Hardware and Software Interfacing

Hardware and Software Interfacing is a key skill set that will enable medical technologies to be at the heart of healthy ageing and independent living. We have the expertise to support you develop remote sensing, complex data analytics and remote interventions that will allow people to remain safe and independent for longer. Our experience in developing interfaces for medical device applications as diverse as patient controlled sedation and surgical robotics combined with our machine learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities provides a rich multidisciplinary ecosystem to support your development of the next generation of digitally enabled medical technologies.

Human Factors

Human Factors refers to how a person will interact with the systems surrounding them, including the medical technology they use. Clinical outcomes will very much depend on the design of the medical technology, the person using the medical technology, and the environment in which they will be using the medical technology. Our multi-disciplinary approach to human factors assessment helps you design products that best suit the user, enabling more effective and safer use. We consider features of the intended user population, such as age, size, strength, cognitive ability and training, the intended environment of use, and factors such as potential competing distractions, lighting level, or urgency of use. MTIF uses an iterative process, involving design, testing and validation of design stages generating evidence in both the laboratory and clinical practice.

Microbiology

Microbiology is at the heart of many medical technologies. Whether it is understanding the antimicrobial properties of a new medical technology, evaluating biofilm development, understanding the efficacy of novel wound dressings or compendial microbiology testing MTIF has the expertise. We combine classical microbiology, molecular microbiology and next-generation genomics to determine the microbial activity, biofilm and vector load potential of your medical technology helping you develop appropriate development, manufacturing and control strategies.

Imaging

Imaging enhances the development of medical technologies taking you beyond the confines of biological and chemical analysis. MTIF has a broad palette of imaging techniques including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM), Light Microscopy and whole-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to enhance the development of your product.