Bolton University in €1.3m project to
produce artificial tendons
13 February 2013
The University of Bolton has joined an international
consortium of universities that has secured €1.5 million of funding for
research into developing biomaterials for tendon regeneration.
The consortium, which also includes the National University of
Ireland (NUI) Galway, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has
secured the funding from the Marie Curie Sponsorship Programme.
Around €250,000 will be allocated to Bolton University. Two
fully-funded researchers and a senior researcher from the University
of Bolton have already been seconded to Vornia Limited, a spin-off
company from NUI that designs and develops biomaterials for medical
purposes and commercialisation.
Tendons are the fibrous bands that connect muscle to bone. They
are extremely strong in the context of the body, but once damaged
are difficult to treat or repair. Tendon injuries are common in
sports and physical exercise and can leave athletes side-lined for
The consortium will be making artificial tendon fibres made of
especially designed smart materials, including fibrous proteins such
as collagen. These would then be woven or braided into the body,
replacing or repairing damaged tendons.
The University of Bolton is a world-renowned research centre in
the area of smart materials. It pioneers areas such as the
biomedical applications of hybrid biomaterials made from sea algae
and crab shells for wound dressing applications and has developed
the world’s first photovoltaic-piezoelectric fibre which can harness
electricity from movement — such as wind and wave — and from the
Dr Moshen Miraftab is leading the project at the University of
Bolton. He said: "Given the importance of such an investigation and
practical application of its outcome, success of this research could
lead to further Pan-European project partnerships for the