Strathclyde University has been awarded £853,000 to host a bespoke nationwide facility for testing nanotechnologies for healthcare applications.

The Multiscale Metrology Suite (MMS) for Next-Generation Health Nanotechnologies will provide UK scientists with access to technology for the analysis of materials, supporting discovery of future diagnostics and therapies.

Enabling combined physical and chemical analysis of prototype technologies, the facility has received combined investment from Strathclyde and the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) worth over £1.6m.

Analysis of nanotechnologies for healthcare applications is currently complex and challenging, requiring multiple technologies which often results in delays in the development of new medicines or failure of products at later clinical trial stages.

As a modular suite combining the latest in detection technologies in a single setup, the MMS aims to push existing limitations through enabling multiple analyses to be performed on the same sample.
Data generated from the measurements will enable researchers to improve their understanding of what properties drive the performance and safety of new nanotechnology-based medicines. Nanotechnology researchers from academia and industry can access the facility, testing new prototypes and developing new workflows.

“Nanotechnology for health is a rapidly growing sector, as seen with vaccines developed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased use of nanotechnologies in cancer diagnostics and therapies,” said Dr Zahra Rattray, chancellor’s research fellow and lecturer in Translational Pharmaceutics with Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.

“We are excited about the opportunities the MMS will create with the proposal partners — the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Centre for Process Innovation — as well as the wider UK and international nanotechnology communities, in addressing the challenges faced in nanomedicine design.”

The research is linked to Strathclyde’s HealthTech cluster, which draws on interdisciplinary research in health, engineering, life sciences and social sciences with industry-facing themes in medical diagnostics and wearables, digital health and advanced rehabilitation as well as a focus on healthcare AI, machine learning, data science and data analytics.

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