Focus group to strengthen market for nanotechnologies

Panel will help establish a market for nanotechnology use in medical devices

The increasing potential of nanotechnology to impact on the future of medical device design will be further showcased following the launch of a new focus group.

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network has announced the creation of Nanotechnology in Medical Devices (NiMeD), which aims to develop industry, academic and clinical partnerships, promote the benefits of nanotechnology in the medical device community, and identify key areas of unmet medical needs that nanotechnology could address.

The electronics industry has been transformed by the strategy that ‘smaller is better’, and using these same techniques and applying them to the medical sector, the UK has been able to discover new market opportunities

The network is currently developing the steering committee for the focus group and already has commitment from leading companies and academics including Sharp Laboratories Europe, OJ-Bio, Queen Mary University of London, Cambridge Consultants, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The steering committee will provide advice and direction for the activities of the group.

Dr Mike Fisher, the network’s theme manager for healthcare and life sciences, said: “Commercially-successful areas of nanotechnology, such as semiconductor manufacturing techniques, are now being used in the healthcare industry with very positive results. Recently the lines between the healthcare and electronics worlds have become blurred, creating an exciting field of new applications and markets using the nanotechnology techniques acquired in the semi-conductor world.

“The electronics industry has been transformed by the strategy that ‘smaller is better’, and using these same techniques and applying them to the medical sector, the UK has been able to discover new market opportunities. This next level of miniaturisation, into nanoscale dimensions, is a booming area of research and development, with significant funding being invested worldwide.”

With more than 2,000 medical device companies in the UK, over 80% of which are SMEs, it is important to establish a solid supply chain early on centre

On the creation of the focus group, he added: “It aims to bring together companies actively developing and utilising nanotechnology in medical devices and the technical areas will be broad in scope, covering everything from miniaturised implantable devices to coatings on macro devices. With more than 2,000 medical device companies in the UK, over 80% of which are SMEs, it is important to establish a solid supply chain early on.”

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