Materials Science for Healthcare and Nanomedicine

Thursday, February 25th 2021


16:45 – 19:30 (GMT)

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Innovation in materials science is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by enabling technological advances in clinical and commercial developments. For example, the miniaturization of larger structures and chemicals at a nanometric scale has had a tremendous impact in drug administration, diagnostics, and therapeutics in areas like oncology, infectious diseases, cardiology, and orthopaedics with the global nanomedicine market size estimated at USD $138.8 billion in 2019 and anticipated to reach USD 350.8 billion by 2025.

Bioelectronics, biomaterials, tissue engineering and nanomedicine have been identified as the main themes of interest for the research community in Manchester, which encompasses over 250 academics collaborating in interdisciplinary projects with the support from the Henry Royce, the Christabel Pankhursrt, and the National Graphene institutes.

Biopharmaceutical and medical devices companies are actively engaged in the development of novel products as demonstrated by the increasingly growing partnerships between leading enterprises and nanomedicine start-ups. However, in contrast with the applications of nanotechnology, the entire process of lab to market approval is tedious and expensive, with the stringent regulatory evaluation involved leading investors to remain hesitant for investments. 

The Innovation Forum Manchester is pleased to invite you to the event, 'Materials Science for Healthcare and Nanomedicine' which brings together high calibre professionals on materials science and engineering for applications in medicine and health science for interesting conversations and potential collaborations.


Keynote speakers: Experts in research and innovation will give their perspectives on the current and future landscape for materials and engineering in medicine and healthcare. 

Paul Townsend: Dean of Health and Medical Sciences and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Surrey, Former Associate Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health, University of Manchester (UoM) and SLT member of the Division of Cancer Sciences. He held the role of Industry & Innovation lead for the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, part of Health Innovation Manchester, and Manchester BRC lead, co-Director of the Manchester Centre for Cellular Metabolism, UoM lead for the Medicines Discovery Catapult and represented the University in many iUK and UKRI activities.

Sarah Cartmell: She is currently Head of the Department of Materials which is home to nearly 2,000 students and staff.  She is also the UK Biomedical Materials champion for The Royce Institute. Sarah's interdisciplinary research area focuses on creating a paradigm shift in healthcare treatments. Her research is in the area of orthopaedic tissue engineering, wound care treatments and more recently, translating the 3D tissue growth techniques to cancer research for early biomarker detection. 

Start-up pitchers: Entrepreneurs will pitch about their business and technology.

Aline Miller: CEO and Founding director at Manchester BIOGEL. Senior manager and strategic leader with over 20 years of experience leading commercial and academic R&D teams in the Biomaterials sector. She has a strong track record of raising funds and translating academic research into the commercial and clinical setting.

Aravind Vijayaraghavan: Reader in Nanomaterials, UoM. Head of Business Engagement, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Founder & Director at Grafine Ltd. and Atomic Mechanics Ltd. Recent publications on of graphene oxide for vascular tissue engineering and graphene-based antibody test to detect kidney disease.

Christopher Bullock: CEO & Co-Founder at QV Bioelectronics, PhD in regenerative medicine from UoM, his research focused on the development of novel graphene bioelectronic devices and the use of electrical stimuli to control cell behaviour. He now acts as the Managing Director of QV Bioelectronics and oversees the business and technical development aims of the business. 
Discussion panel:  Joined by all speakers and pitchers to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the field and answer attendees questions. 
Speed networking dynamic: To encourage interesting and unexpected conversations among attendees.  



Reception and speed networking


Welcome and introduction


Keynote Talk 1: Paul Townsend: Dean of Health and Medical Sciences and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Surrey


Biomedical materials in the Royce Institute and in the Cartmell Laboratory – Sarah Cartmell, Champion of Biomedical Materials, Henry Royce Institute


Start-up Pitch 1: Aline Miller: CEO and Founding director at Manchester BIOGEL


Start-up Pitch 2: Aravind Vijayaraghavan: Reader in Nanomaterials & Nanofunctional Materials Group Leader, UoM


Start-up Pitch 3: Christopher Bullock: CEO & Co-Founder at QV Bioelectronics


Discussion panel and Q&A


Speed networking




Sarah was appointed Professor of Bioengineering at The University of Manchester in 2014 in the School of Materials after joining Manchester in 2010 as a Reader in Biomaterials. She received a B.Eng. in Materials Science with Clinical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Engineering from The University of Liverpool in 1996 and 2000 respectively and then furthered her studies at GeorgiaTech, Atlanta for two years as a postdoctoral research fellow. She joined Keele University in 2002 where she continued her postdoctoral studies until obtaining a Lecturership in 2004 and then Senior Lecturer position in orthopaedic tissue engineering in 2008.

Sarah is currently Deputy Head of The School of Materials and also Head of the Biomaterials Group at The School of Materials. She is a member of the schools senior management team and is a currently elected Senate member for The University of Manchester.

She is currently managing as lead PI several large grants totalling over £2 million with funding from the MRC and BBSRC. These transitional grants focus on tendon repair techniques and electrical bioreactor development.

Taking up his position in February 2021, Paul joined the University of Surrey from the University of Manchester where he is currently Associate Dean for Business Engagement and Innovation, as well as International Research and Innovation, of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

An internationally renowned scientist in the field of cell stress and survival mechanisms, Paul has a passion for teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He brings with him a wealth of industry and enterprise experience, having co-founded several companies and provided strategic advice to others in the sector.

Aline currently oversees and leads on all aspects of the business and has over two decades of experience guiding commercial and academic teams across the life science sector. She has a strong track record of raising funds to drive the translation of academic research into the clinical and commercial setting.

Before taking the CEO role, Aline was Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Manchester. She is a chemist by training and also held a New Hall Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge.

Leader of the Nanofunctional Materials Group at the National Graphene Institute. ​
Research in graphene and 2-dimensional materials, particularly composites and sensors.​
Senior post-doctoral research associate at MIT, USA ​
PhD (2006) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA​
Published over 80 papers in international peer reviewed journals.

Christopher is a biomedical engineer with expertise in medical device design, biomaterials and bioelectronics. In 2018 he completed a PhD in regenerative medicine at The University of Manchester where his research focused on the development of novel graphene bioelectronic devices and the use of electrical stimuli to control cell behaviour. A passionate entrepreneur, Christopher now acts as the Managing Director of QV Bioelectronics and oversees the business and technical development aims of the business. He is an associate member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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