Derek Irvine seminar

Wednesday, 20 September, 2023

Iolanda Francolini is pleased to invite to the seminar:

Bio-instructive Polymers for Medical Applications

Derek Irvine, University of Nottingham (UK)

The seminar will be held in Parravano Hall, Ed. Cannizzaro (CU014), on thursday 28 september, at 2.30 pm. 



Two areas that are of critical importance in modern heath care are the prevention of hospital acquired infections and the treatment of chronic wounds. In the case of the latter, in the UK alone, the number of chronic wound patients is rapidly increasing due to medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes and is estimated to cost the NHS >£8 billion a year. Meanwhile, typical treatments such as regular cleaning, debridement and using inert dressings are not very effective. At Nottingham, we have recently identified several, non-eluting polymeric materials that promote either (a) resist biofilm adhesion or (b) an anti-inflammatory phenotype in macrophages which induces fibroblast proliferation and supports wound closure in a model chronic wound. These polymers achieve these biological/therapeutic outcomes due to the nature of the polymers molecular structure alone i.e., without the need for the elution of pharmacologically active compounds.  This seminar will describe the discovery process from the use of high throughput screening to identify the novel concept of ‘bio-instructive’ polymers, through the copolymer process development to synthesis coatings to promote biofilm resistance from urinary catheters and microfluidic particles for use in wound dressings that promote wound healing.



Derek Irvine is Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Nottingham in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. He is a member of the Centre for Additive Manufacture (CFAM) Research Group at Nottingham, one of the largest group researching into Additive Manufacturing techniques in Europe. Derek research interests centre on the synthesis & scale up novel architectural polymers (e.g. star, graft, hyper-branched polymers) and design/use of high performance surface active polymers for applications such as coatings, dispersants, surfactants. A key theme is the delivery of novel high-performance materials by overcoming the current barriers to commercial manufacture of such controlled polymer structures via the application of microwave heating, alternative solvent systems (ionic liquids, expanded phase and fluorous phases) and additive manufacturing techniques. He has published >140 refereed journal papers and is an inventor on 32 patents/patent applications. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and is also a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Engineer (CEng). Derek has been at the University of Nottingham for 15 years, prior to which he had a 16-year career in industry (Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd) as an industrial research leader, which generated 11 commercialised products and gained 3 Innovation Awards. 


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