UK India 2015

UK India 2015

February 2015

Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences


Photo-responsive Functional Surfaces for Bio-Nano Applications in Healthcare

Surfaces play a crucial role in biomedical applications including antibacterial surfaces, biosensing, tissue engineering to the controlled release of drugs. Modifying surfaces properties through the use of organic films is a well-developed field of research; however, in recently there has been a growing trend in tailoring responsive surfaces to establish smart surface technologies, which can interact in response to the environment. This includes a different stimuli for example, pH, temperature, and light.

For this seminar the key applicants have particular expertise in surfaces that are photo-responsive. We believe that nanoparticles with photo-responsive surfaces have the potential to generate a wide range of new biomedical devices, which could include advanced imaging, diagnostics, targeted drug delivery, and theranostics.

One new aspect of this field that we would like to explore through this seminar is the development of near-IR responsive materials. Most photo-switching or photo-deprotecting molecules require high photon energy; however, nanoparticles, such as up-convertors, can absorb IR light (for tissue penetration) and emit light of high enough energy to enable controlled photochemical reactions to take place.

Our UK-India seminar is designed to generate new international collaborations to explore responsive surface molecular systems. This will be achieved by enabling networking between those working on molecular photochemical and nanoparticle systems. The Seminar will have evening, and daytime networking sessions as well as focus group discussions with the aim to establish well-defined meaningful international research collaborations. 

Potential funding schemes identified include the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, which is an initiative funded equally by the Wellcome Trust, and the Department of Biotechnology (India) to develop research excellence in biomedical technologies.  They award early, intermediate, and senior career fellowships, which could be used to establish genuine collaborations between host institutions.  Horizon 2020 also offer Fellowships such as the EU Marie Curie outgoing and incoming programmes which again could be used to establish a PDRA hosted by both UK and India institutions.  

Additionally we will consider whether we have suitable candidates, from the Indian institutions, to apply for Royal Society Newton International Fellowships.  This would fund a fellow to work in the UK for two years.  In addition to the formal fellowship programmes we will aim to apply for joint funding from the EPSRC and other appropriate RCUK funding bodies (e.g. the EPSRC occasionally has joint India-UK Calls).  Out of the 20 participates we would initially work towards at least two of the most promising projects.