MP visits revolutionary bioprinting facility at University of Manchester
Academics from across The University of Manchester have today (Friday) hosted Bolton West MP Chris Green on an extended visit including a tour of the Bioprinting Technology Platform (BTP), a specialist national facility which houses the latest technology in 3D human tissue printing.
With support from the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national centre for research and innovation for advanced materials, the lab gives researchers and industry access to the complete fabrication pipeline from cell culturing to product evaluation.
Funded by a £200,000 grant from the UK Space Agency and assisted by the European Space Agency, a University of Manchester team are currently investigating how to optimise the bioprinting process for conditions experienced in space, such as lack of gravity.
Using the unique capabilities of the BTP, researchers are also collaborating with clinicians and cell biologists to develop 3D models of human cartilage and bone.
Mr Green, who before entering Parliament spent almost two decades working as an engineer in the mass spectrometry industry, began his trip at the Dalton Nuclear Institute - the most advanced nuclear research capability in UK academia - where he was briefed on current projects by Professor Adrian Bull MBE, Chair in Nuclear Energy and Society.
The Bolton West MP’s final destination on the visit, organised by the University’s policy engagement unit Policy@Manchester, was the Justice Hub to join a health-themed roundtable discussion with senior academics including Dr Philip Drake, Dr Jennifer Voorhees and Dr Jonathan Hammond.
Professor Richard Jones, Vice President for Civic Engagement and Innovation at The University of Manchester, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Chris and give him an insight into some of the pioneering work we do in partnership with businesses right across Greater Manchester.
“The University of Manchester's cutting-edge research in making a real difference in tackling pressing policy challenges. That's why it is important for influencers of policy, including MPs across Greater Manchester, to see at first-hand the work being done and to take that evidence back with them to Westminster.
“This was a particularly timely visit as the Chancellor announced a new investment zone for Greater Manchester in the recent Autumn Statement which will give further impetus to the work we do on innovation, advanced materials and manufacturing with our partners in the city-region."
Chris Green MP said: “It was a fascinating morning. The University of Manchester has a thoroughly merited global reputation for research excellence across a vast swathe of subject areas, not least in technology, innovation and health.
“I was deeply impressed by all I saw and heard, particularly in the Bioprinting Technology Platform where the remarkable work going on places Greater Manchester firmly at the forefront of the medical engineering revolution.
“I look forward to following the many exciting research projects happening across the University, with lots more in development.”