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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R004072/1
Title: Wireless communication with cells towards bioelectronic treatments of the future
Principal Investigator: Rawson, Dr FJ
Other Investigators:
Rahman, Dr R R Hague, Professor RJ Amabilino, Professor D
Smith, Mr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory SureScreen Diagnostics Ltd University of Barcelona
University of Melbourne University of Minnesota
Department: Sch of Pharmacy
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 10 January 2018 Ends: 09 January 2023 Value (£): 974,695
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomedical sciences Drug Formulation & Delivery
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Sep 2017 Healthcare Technologies Challenge Awards 2 Interviews (Panel A) September 2017 Announced
28 Jun 2017 Healthcare Technologies Challenge Awards 28 June 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Electroceutics, or bioelectronic drugs are defined as treating disease via control of the body's electrical signals and are the future therapeutic intervention. Examples of electroceutic devices include the cochlear implant, retinal implants forming a bionic eye, pace maker for modulating heart rhythm, deep brain stimulators for treating Parkinson's and other neurological disorders, and most recently a wraparound vagus nerve stimulator to treat arthritis. They rely on electrical stimulation of neuronal pathways that cause a functional effect to treat a disease or an ailment. Bioelectronic based therapies typically involve the merging of electronic devices with neuronal cells/tissues. This generally involves initial invasive surgery for implantation of the electronic component which also needs regular replacement. The electronic components of the device stimulates nerves cells/tissues in an unprecise manner. However, whilst treating disease by modulating neural relays has been the focus of research, almost no studies exist describing bioelectronic based therapies for non-neuronal cells. This is surprising considering all cells are electrically active. The field of electroceutics is an emerging strategy as an important method for disease intervention and will be increasingly important in the management of human disease. In order for electroceutical therapies to fulfil their potential there are still a number of challenges to be solved. These include

*A more thorough understanding of how cellular electrical talk malfunctions underpin disease, and a more targeted approach in modulating the cellular-electrical relays that underpin sickness.

*A broadening of electroceutical therapeutic intervention from nervous system application as well as other cell and tissue types.

*A need to avoid invasive surgery thereby making the technology more adaptable via development of wireless technology.



The research proposed will work towards addressing these challenges by developing new electrochemical based wireless technology, which may avoid invasive surgery and will be applied to treating non-neuronal based diseases such as cancer. In addition, by combining 3D printing of electrochemical systems with the wireless cellular actuation, we plan to be able to target and control specific neuronal circuits. The research exploits concepts and tools from electrochemistry, nanochemistry, supramolecular chemistry, additive manufacturing and bionanotechnology to develop electrochemical based wireless nanotechnology to sense and actuate cellular behaviour. By bringing to fruition the application of electrochemistry to electroceutics in developing such novel disruptive technology it will significantly advance healthcare technology. In addition it will make a profound and significant impact in the broad fields of biosensors applications in many areas such as biomedical diagnostics, pharmaceutical industry, defence and environmental monitoring and offer new research tools to study cellular electrochemistry.

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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk