1. Translate Summer Student Project blog: Ebeam treated polymers for sutures

    This post is part of a blog series about 13 short-term projects Translate MedTech funded in summer 2019.

    These Translate MedTech-funded projects let researchers hire students during their summer break to help develop innovative new medical technologies with commercial potential.

    Read these blogs to learn about the work they completed.


    Name: Hajrah Siddique
    Host organisation: University of Bradford
    Project title: Measuring the recovery force of Ebeam treated
    polymers for sutures

    My name is Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe and my research interest is related to development of bio-medical devices.

    The current project that Hajrah, Dr Paul Spencer and I worked on was the measurement of recovery force on Ebeam treated polymers for sutures.

    The overall aim is to create a shape memory suture product with “tuned” properties. Shape memory polymers (SMP) could replace conventional suture material in surgeries, especially minimally invasive surgery.  

    For example, after endoscopic keyhole surgery, stitching is difficult because of the confined space, and it is difficult to achieve a knot with the proper amount of tension on the tissue.

    The SMP suture tightens itself in the human body when triggered by the heat or fluid of the human body. Often the activation temperature in candidate materials is higher than the ideal, being just above body temperature.

    Ebeam treatment can change the activation temperature, and would avoid the use of additives that can leach out.

    During the Translate Summer Student Project, Hajrah tested two types of polymers with 3 different thicknesses, and recorded the SMP recovery force during temperature-triggered recovery.

    The injected moulded samples were Ebeam treated by Sherkin Technologies Ltd at the Daresbury Laboratory. Hajrah was trained in a range of material manufacturing and testing methods. The student learned data analysis techniques and to write scientific reports that capture the obtained results.

    Furthermore, she learned to manage her project, to communicate and work in a team environment, and enhanced her engineering skills.

    The results obtained from the student project exploring the use of Ebeam on polymers will create valuable preliminary data for a future grant that will successfully translate the product from research to clinical trials.


    You can learn more about this project and others at Growing MedTech Translation 2019 on Friday 6 December 2019, where each Translate MedTech Summer Student Project lead will give a presentation about their work.

  2. Translate Summer Student Project blog: Kidney Stone Pre-cursors

    This post is part of a blog series about 13 short-term projects Translate MedTech funded in summer 2019.

    These Translate MedTech-funded projects let researchers hire students during their summer break to help develop innovative new medical technologies with commercial potential.

    Read these blogs to learn about the work they completed.


    Name of student: Amin Nadimy
    Host organisation: University of Leeds
    Project title: Kidney Stone Pre-cursors

    In several of my taught modules I’ve studied the mechanisms of rock formation, and how rock-forming minerals collectively make up the composition of a variety of rocks.

    This Translate Summer Student Project on kidney stones interested me as it was an opportunity to look for similarities in the mechanisms of solidification in geological and biological systems.

    The approach we took was to reverse engineer the kidney stone, this provided an interesting  opportunity to restore the conditions under which the kidney stone had been formed, thus obtaining essential knowledge to the pathophysiology of  kidney stone formation.

    A challenge I encountered was obtaining ethical approval for my research, and I found that experiment preparation took much longer than the actual experiment.

    The experimental work was the most interesting part of my summer placement. The aim was to identify the composition of the “bridges” between the crystals in the kidney stone, thus allowing a test to be designed for tracing those “binders”.

    Without any preliminary information about the chemical composition of the stones, we were able to determine not only the type of the stone (cystine in this case), but also very interesting information about the microstructure of the kidney stone.

    The outcomes from the research will help to develop improved clinical and personal tests for kidney stones. If the stone nuclei could be removed at an early stage the benefits for patient well-being would be tremendous, and it would also result in financial savings for the health care provider.  

    This research has the potential to advance existing practice as it is an opportunity to monitor patients individually, and to react to the first symptoms of urolithiasis before they cause any pain.

    More questions were raised than answered during my placement, but they lay the basis for the future research required for the completion of the kidney stone pre-cursor test development. 


    You can learn more about this project and others at Growing MedTech Translation 2019 on Friday 6 December 2019, where each Translate MedTech Summer Student Project lead will give a presentation about their work.

  3. Translate Summer Student Project blog: Antibacterial Gold Nanoparticle System

    This post is part of a blog series about 13 short-term projects Translate MedTech funded in summer 2019.

    These Translate MedTech-funded projects let researchers hire students during their summer break to help develop innovative new medical technologies with commercial potential.

    Read these blogs to learn about the work they completed.


    Student name: Will Abrams
    Host organisation: University of Leeds
    Name of project: Antibacterial Gold Nanoparticle System

    I am a Natural Sciences student, majoring in Maths and Physics at the University of Leeds with a strong interest in the broad applications of nanoparticles. I have greatly enjoyed seeing how the material I’ve been learning about through my degree can be applied to develop and adapt a nanoparticle product.

    Chronic wound infections are a significant and fast-growing global healthcare problem which is made worse by the widespread occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    The aim of my project is to develop novel polymer-coated gold nanoparticles for the controlled release of antimicrobial agents to improve the eradication of bacteria and biofilms commonly found in chronic wounds.

    During the Translate Summer Student project, I worked closely with Dr Zhan Ong and George Newham in the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Group to develop a simple one-step method to produce novel gold nanoparticles encapsulated by an organic shell.

    The polymer-coated gold nanoparticles were successfully loaded with antimicrobial agents and could potentially be incorporated into wound dressings to provide an enhanced light-induced combination therapy to improve chronic wound infections.

    This generous funding provided me with an opportunity to work in an exciting research field with such important medical applications. Importantly, I have also acquired valuable interdisciplinary research and science communication skills.

    The findings of my research have provided an important proof-of-concept for the scalable and cost-effective production of drug-loaded polymer-coated nanoparticles which will help to progress this novel technology towards evaluation in preclinical models of wound infections.    


    You can learn more about this project and others at Growing MedTech Translation 2019 on Friday 6 December 2019, where each Translate MedTech Summer Student Project lead will give a presentation about their work.

  4. Translate Summer Student Project blog: Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain Management

    This post is part of a blog series about 13 short-term projects Translate MedTech funded in summer 2019.

    These Translate MedTech-funded projects let researchers hire students during their summer break to help develop innovative new medical technologies with commercial potential.

    Read these blogs to learn about the work they completed.


    Name: Alicia Carrion Plaza
    Host Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University
    Project title: Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain Management

    In my current role I am working with the IMPAC VR research lab, led by Ivan Phelan at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). I have been working to support projects aimed at investigating the impact of using Virtual Reality (VR) interventions in clinical settings, such asacute pain in burns patients, physical rehabilitation, and prosthetic training.

    Working with InHealth’s Pain Management division, our Translate Summer Student Project has  focused on the use of VR as part of Pain Management Programmes (PMPs) for patients with chronic pain in West Lancashire.

    VR has the potential to significantly impact patient experience by enhancing the benefit derived from current PMPs, and increase the likelihood of patient engagement in physical therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based approaches.

    The benefits include improvement in  physical and emotional well-being, as well as healthcare and pain management, since patients would learn to better manage their pain on a day-to-day basis. 

    Translate funding allows us to identify the VR scenarios best suited to chronic pain patients’ needs and examine the feasibility of incorporating the use of VR in a PMP for patients with chronic pain. This will enhance the learning and practice of techniques to help patients manage their pain, and increase their confidence in doing so.

    InHealth is well-placed to incorporate this technology into their everyday practice and would provide a body of evidence to demonstrate its clinical effectiveness and benefit to patients over time.

    I would like to thank the Translate Summer Student Project Scheme for giving me the opportunity to get a deeper knowledge of medical technologies, and a great experience of working with patients in clinical settings and using VR. This is an exciting opportunity to expand my existing research with a further understanding of delivering trials.


    You can learn more about this project and others at Growing MedTech Translation 2019 on Friday 6 December 2019, where each Translate MedTech Summer Student Project lead will give a presentation about their work.

  5. Translate Summer Student Project blog: AI systems for predicting delayed discharge of patients

    This post is part of a blog series about 13 short-term projects Translate MedTech funded in summer 2019.

    These Translate MedTech-funded projects let researchers hire students during their summer break to help develop innovative new medical technologies with commercial potential.

    Read these blogs to learn about the work they completed.


    Name: Yanxin Shi
    Organisation: University of Bradford
    Project Title: Developing AI system for Predicting delayed discharge of patients

    As a postgraduate student on Big Data Science and Technology MSc Course at the University of Bradford, I am very interested in the application of Artificial Intelligence technology (AI) in the medical field.

    My Translate Summer Student Project was focused on applying AI and machine learning technologies to predict the length of stay at hospitals for patients at the point of entry.

    I conducted this project under the supervision of Prof Rami Qahwaji (Professor of Visual Computing) and Dr Tom Lawton (Consultant Critical Care & Anaesthesia).

    The aim of my project was to develop an Artificial Intelligence system to predict if discharge from hospital for patients would be delayed, mainly because of non-medical reasons.

    I received some real datasets from Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), and developed an AI model that implemented artificial neural network and decision tree algorithms to realise the prediction ability of NHS patient information data.

    An important part of my work was  pre-processing the data to extract important features to feed to the AI model. The performance evaluation of this AI system was carried out by cross-validation, confusion matrix, RMSR and other assessments, where an average  accuracy of around 85% was achieved.

    This was a very exciting project, as it offers a real potential to improve the operation and management of hospitals, and I hope to continue working with BIHR and the University of Bradford to optimize the AI model and conduct more tests in the future.


    You can learn more about this project and others at Growing MedTech Translation 2019 on Friday 6 December 2019, where each Translate MedTech Summer Student Project lead will give a presentation about their work.

  6. Gaining a new perspective at Arthritis Research UK

    Translate MedTech‘s Secondment Scheme provides an opportunity for successful applicants to develop new medtech innovation skills and/or progress a medical technology towards clinical application by embedding themselves within a host organisation that’s seperate from their own.

    The scheme is open to;

    • Researchers to temporarily take up a role in a complementary organisation, or
    • Academics and researchers to host clinicians, industrialists or innovation specialists.

    In 2018, Translate funded 50 secondments to bolster medtech innovation capability within the region.

    Read Alice’s first-hand account of her secondment experience below:


    • Name: Alice Philipson
    • Current Organisation: University of Leeds
    • Current Position: PhD student
    • Secondment organisation: Arthritis Research UK (now Versus Arthritis)

    My name is Alice and I am a PhD student at the University of Leeds. My research is in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine where I am developing a device to isolate a specific population of stem cells for use in autologous stem cell therapies. 

    I decided to apply for a secondment as I think it is an amazing opportunity to gain experience in a different role and I am keen to finish my PhD with a wealth of experiences to widen my career prospects and make the most of the opportunities available.

    Moving from the lab into patient engagement

    The secondment I am going to carry out is at Arthritis Research UK, specifically working alongside the Research Liaison and Engagement team.

    This is interesting for me because as a PhD researcher I am focused on the day to day aspects of laboratory research however I want to gain more experience and knowledge of how that research is impacting patients and is being translated to clinics.

    I also want to play a part in communicating research to a widespread audience, raising the profile and awareness of different research being carried out. This is the kind of role I would like to be involved in after my PhD therefore this experience will be invaluable for me.

    The secondment is really making me think about where the field is heading in terms of involving patients and the public at every stage of research.

    I am excited about the new skills I will learn during the secondment, both for my future career aspirations and for my current role as a PhD student.

    Understanding the process of charity-funded research and especially a charity which has such a high level of patient involvement will be an excellent insight for me as a researcher.

    I also look forward to building a long-term relationship with ARUK which will strengthen existing and future collaborations within the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering at the University of Leeds.

    What I have learnt so far…

    I’m just halfway through my secondment at Arthritis Research UK and I am enjoying every minute of it. It is very different to my usual role in the lab and I am seeing a completely different side of academic research.

    Working in the research liaison, involvement, and engagement team, my work is focused around grant applications. For example, I have written public summaries from newly funded applications, and case studies where researchers have effectively involved patients and the public in their research.

    As a PhD student, I have limited experience in grant writing, therefore this is an interesting experience for me and I am learning lots about the whole process.

    Other tasks have included summarising research papers and writing reports to communicate the outputs of funded research. I really enjoy being able to see all aspects of research, from projects that are just beginning, to completed projects that are having an impact on people’s lives.

    I also enjoy the range of research I am being exposed to, from the more fundamental science and pre-clinical studies, to clinical trials.

    The secondment is really making me think about academia in general, and where the field is heading in terms of involving patients and the public at every stage of research.

    I think it is extremely positive that this is now becoming a necessity for many funding bodies, and going back to my own research department I will be much more aware of this.

    During the rest of my time at Arthritis Research UK, I am looking forward to seeing some of the projects I have been working on coming together and going ‘live’ on the website and internal networks.

    I also have the opportunity to attend a concordant event on the ‘Openness on Animal Research in the UK’, which will no doubt be interesting being such a controversial topic. And besides, everyone likes a trip out of the office every now and then!

    Looking back now I’ve finished…

    Having now finished my secondment at Arthritis Research UK, I wanted to share some of my thoughts regarding the overall experience.

    First and foremost, I would highly recommend secondment opportunities to anyone who may be considering one. The chance to experience a different workplace brings no end of benefits, and has definitely improved my confidence in more ways than one.

    What’s more, in my opinion, it is hard to know the career opportunities or job roles which exist in different companies and sectors until you immerse yourself in their environment.

    I now have a much clearer understanding of the medical research charity sector and it is an area that in the future I would be interested in working in again.

    In terms of how the secondment will impact my immediate work, I believe I have improved my writing style after spending two months mainly producing written work, and particularly writing for a lay audience which is an essential skill for a researcher.

    Since returning to University, I have already taken part in a digital content competition at the IKC & Regener8 Conference which was aimed at producing content for patients and the public. I felt like I had a much better idea of how to communicate effectively with this audience thanks to the secondment.

    The highlight of my secondment was learning so many new skills and knowledge regarding research funding in the medical research charity sector. I saw academic research from a different side, which allowed me to see the bigger picture rather than a tiny piece of the picture I see on a day to day basis.

  7. About my secondment: Stephen Smith

    About Stephen’s secondment

    Steve is a Professor of Electronics at the University of York, developing technology that measures the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

    Steve was awarded a Translate secondment to evaluate his technology in multiple clinical settings to see first-hand the use of the system by patients and clinical staff. 

    The secondment also allowed clinical staff to see the potential for the technology for routine assessment of Parkinson’s patients.


    Translate MedTech’s Secondment Scheme provides an opportunity for successful applicants to develop new medtech innovation skills and/or progress a medical technology towards clinical application by embedding themselves within a host organisation that’s seperate from their own.

    The scheme is open to;

    • Researchers to temporarily take up a role in a complementary organisation, or
    • Academics and researchers to host clinicians, industrialists or innovation specialists.

    In 2018, Translate funded 50 secondments to bolster medtech innovation capability within the region.

  8. How a university secondment can support medtech innovation in industry

    Translate MedTech’s Secondment Scheme provides an opportunity for successful applicants to develop new medtech innovation skills and/or progress a medical technology towards clinical application by embedding themselves within a host organisation that’s seperate from their own.

    The scheme is open to;

    • Researchers to temporarily take up a role in a complementary organisation, or
    • Academics and researchers to host clinicians, industrialists or innovation specialists.

    In 2018, Translate funded 50 secondments to bolster medtech innovation capability within the region.

    Read Peter’s first-hand account of his secondment experience below:


    • Name: Dr Peter Iddon
    • Current Organisation: Neotherix
    • Current Position: Development Manager
    • Secondment organisation: University of Bradford

    My name is Dr Peter Iddon, and as Development Manager at Neotherix Ltd, I am responsible for the development and translation of new bioresorbable electrospun scaffolds for tissue repair and regeneration.

    Neotherix develop such regenerative devices in order to enhance the body’s capacity to repair itself, by providing patients’ own cells with micron-scale 3D architectures to enhance the recruitment of reparative cells for neotissue formation.

    Neotherix has had a long history of working collaboratively with Universities across the UK, and as a small company have found the approach to be a valuable way of accessing cutting-edge research expertise that we don’t possess in-house. Therefore when the opportunity arose for me to become seconded to the University of Bradford, it seemed like a natural extension of that way of working.

    What we hoped to achieve

    We supported the application for Translate Secondment funding for two main reasons – the first was to enable one of our scientists to directly take advantage of the facilities available at a leading research-focussed university, allowing us to more effectively contribute to an existing but separate collaborative project we were involved in at the University of Bradford.

    The second reason was to allow us to develop proof-of-principle for an exciting new electrospun scaffold technology incorporating an additive developed at the University of Bradford, leveraging both the skills and facilities available at the institution and my own experience of electrospinning to demonstrate the potential of the approach and generate data to support an application for substantial funding.

    We achieved both objectives, with the first main benefit to Neotherix being that we could fulfil an existing critical project commitment, removing a potential barrier to project completion and allowing a key technology development programme to progress.

    The second main benefit to Neotherix was the strengthening of a nascent research collaboration and the collection of important proof-of-principle data for a very interesting potential technology.

    All companies have to carefully select which technologies they choose to invest in, and the data generated as a result of the secondment has strengthened the case for further investigation.

    A fantastic opportunity

    When I look back at my secondment experience I am somewhat surprised by the number of different members of the University of Bradford research community I interacted with over a relatively short time.

    This included staff assisting me with everything from administrative matters through to technical support, advice on how to accomplish certain tasks, or providing me access to certain items of equipment.

    A personal highlight is the number members of the community that were engaged with what I was doing and were willing to help, even those that didn’t even have an indirect involvement with the project!

    It can often be hard to judge whether the commitment of limited resource to any particular collaboration will result in an overall benefit.

    However after having taken part in this I am pleased to say that if the need and opportunity for Neotherix to undertake further secondment projects arose in the future, I would not hesitate in applying.

  9. Final Translate MedTech Secondment call of 2019 now open

    Researchers developing medical technologies can apply for support and funding to gain fresh insights from new environments.

    Translate MedTech has funding to support up to 10 secondments to enable researchers to temporarily take up a role in a complementary organisation, or host a clinician, healthcare provider, or collaborator from industry or academia.

    Applications to this scheme must support the development of innovation skills and/or progress medical technologies towards clinical application.

    Secondment support on offer

    We are hosting secondment surgeries at each of the partner universities where you can find out more about the scheme.

    We can provide:

    • guidance and advice pre-application
    • help identifying a placement suited to your needs
    • an introduction to academics in other institutions
    • contact with clinicians
    • help to identify an industry specialist
    • up to £2500 to cover the cost of travel and accommodation

    Outgoing secondments provide an opportunity for academics, researchers, research students to broaden their experience, supporting:

    • The acquisition of new knowledge and skills
    • The development of new collaborations
    • Access to unique laboratories and facilities
    • Technology progression

    Secondment surgeries

    To support researchers in applying for a secondment, Translate MedTech are running secondment surgeries across each of its six partner universities throughout September and October.

    These 30 minute sessions give researchers the opportunity to discuss the scheme and whether you might be able to benefit with an innovation specialist.

    To book a slot at your university with a member of our team or to find out more about the surgeries, click here:


    Host organisations can include:

    • Hospitals and other healthcare providers – supporting insight into clinical needs
    • Industrial companies and enterprises – providing an appreciation of commercial priorities, market drivers, health economics, manufacturing constraints
    • Innovation teams – offering knowledge and expertise in progressing medical technology opportunities
    • UK or international laboratories – providing training, access to equipment, and opportunities to develop collaborations
    • Technology intermediaries, including regulatory bodies

    Incoming secondments

    An incoming secondment may be more suited to your needs: allowing academics and researchers to host clinicians, industrialists or innovation specialists at their institutions.

    How to apply

    For further details, eligibility criteria and deadlines, complete the Translate MedTech Secondment Scheme Guidelines and EOI Form.

    Contact Mohua Siddique: m.siddique@leeds.ac.uk for more information.

    Closing date

    Applications to be submitted by 12pm, 18 October 2019.

  10. Translate MedTech secondment surgeries

    To support researchers in applying for a secondment, Translate MedTech are running secondment surgeries across each of its six partner universities throughout September and October.

    At each of these surgeries, researchers will have the opportunity to book a 30 minute appointment with an innovation specialist to discuss:

    • how secondments have benefitted previously successful applicants
    • guidance and advice pre-application
    • help identifying a placement suited to your needs
    • an introduction to academics in other institutions
    • contact with clinicians
    • help to identify an industry specialist

    To book a 30 minute slot at your university with a member of our team, choose one of the relevant options below:

    University of Bradford

    Date: 19 September 2019

    Location: F26c, RKTS, Richmond Building, University of Bradford

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Manager Kieran Perkins and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.


    University of Huddersfield

    Date: 27 September 2019

    Location: SB10/22i Schwann Building, University of Huddersfield

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Manager Luke Watson and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.


    University of Leeds

    Date: 18 September 2019

    Location: 18 September, X103, School of Mechanical Engineering, LS2 9JT

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Manager, and Programme Lead Dr Danielle Miles and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.


    Leeds Beckett University

    Date: 26 September 2019

    Location: Room 314 (3rd floor), Calverley Building, Leeds Beckett University

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Officer Cat Colquhuon and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.


    Sheffield Hallam University

    Date: 24 September 2019

    Location: Meeting Room 2, Unit 11 Science Park, Sheffield Hallam University

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Manager Simon Butler and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.


    University of York

    Date: 1 October 2019

    Location: SLB/003 Seminar Room, Spring Lane Building, University of York

    Book now to discuss your technology, and how its development could benefit from a secondment opportunity with Technology Innovation Manager Dr Clare Green and Innovation Development Officer Mohua Siddique.