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Conti-Ramsden J.,Knowledge Center for Materials Chemistry | Dyer K.,Catapult
Renewable Energy Focus | Year: 2015

Dr John Conti-Ramsden and Dr Kirsten Dyer discuss the opportunities and challenges in the material design of blades for the latest breed of wind turbine, increasingly used in more hostile locations. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 896.48K | Year: 2014

The current global clinical use of nanomedicines benefits patients daily and has considerable market value; global estimates = US$75bn (11), predicted to be $US160bn by 2015. The decision to develop new nanomedicines balances the needs of patients (are conventional medicinal approaches failing or unable to help?), type of disease/threat to health (is the disease potentially terminal?) and dosing regimes (oral or injectable administration; chronic or acute dosing?). Many therapies require long-term dosing to maintain health over prolonged periods. For example, >33 m people (incl. children) are currently living with HIV/AIDS and the optimised daily dosing (over decades) of highly active antiretroviral therapies helps to prevent progression of HIV to AIDS, and allows a life for many patients that is as close to normal as possible. In contrast, due to the acute nature of cancer (imminent threat to life) short-term interventions, including highly toxic therapies, are required for rapid cure. Cancer research has seen many nanomedicine benefits including the targeting of poorly soluble drugs to solid tumours. Similar contrasts are seen in antiepileptic and cholesterol-lowering therapies (long term health maintenance) versus systemic fungal infections or acute respiratory distress (immediate cure required). Most nanomedicines are enabled by polymer science ranging from polymer-bound drugs through to polymers stabilising drug nanoparticles or forming nanosized drug encapsulants. Nanomedicine expansion to long-term dosage forms and chronic diseases will increase and the behaviour/fate of polymeric materials in the body must be studied to generate safety and toxicology information, to increase the speed-to-clinic (ie patient benefits) and enable decision-making of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies. Currently, the study of low concentrations of polymeric materials in complex environments is extremely difficult. The use of radioactive isotopes for biomedical research is well established with drugs labelled to allow rapid quantification and tracing, however, very few reports describe radiolabelled polymeric components of candidate nanomedicines and facilities for polymer radiochemistry have largely disappeared in UK Universities. The University of Liverpool has created facilities to enable radiomaterials chemistry, providing new academic UK skills and enabling pharmacological studies of polymers used in nanomedicine strategies and other applications. This 3 year programme aims to conduct the first nanomedicine studies that simultaneously monitor drug AND enabling polymeric materials, whilst exploring the synthesis of radiolabelled polymers with the most up-to-date techniques. This will place UK nanomedicine research at the forefront of understanding and provide an engagement platform for global pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies as the huge potential for nanomedicine is realised for patients of all ages across multiple disease areas.

Conti-Ramsden J.,Knowledge Center for Materials Chemistry | Anderson R.,Knowledge Center for Materials Chemistry | Metz S.,Knowledge Center for Materials Chemistry
Materials World | Year: 2013

John Conti-Ramsden, Richard Anderson and Sebastian Metz from the Knowledge Center for Materials Chemistry, UK, examine the applications of materials modeling. The progression of improved materials has accelerated significantly with the development of sound underpinning scientific theories. The way materials are designed and tested has become ever more efficient and the experimental methods used getting increasingly advanced. Computational simulations have proven extremely valuable for gaining insight into the structure and dynamics of new materials. The development of computational methods coupled with ever improving computational power is becoming increasingly important for the development of industry-relevant materials in a wide range of areas. Materials modeling can enhance understanding of existing materials or reactions, enabling researchers to identify the most productive areas for further research.

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