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Nov. 4, 2021

Swansea University hosts pioneering £2.5M research into 3D bioprinting

Swansea UniversitySwansea University is hosting pioneering £2.5 million research into 3D bioprinting using human cells.

Swansea has launched a world-leading £2.5 million research program, which will revolutionise surgeons’ ability to reconstruct nose and ear cartilage from the cells of patients affected by facial difference. Funded by the Scar Free Foundation, and Health and Care Research Wales, the three-year program will have a global impact—advancing both 3D bioprinting of cartilage and the understanding of how facial scarring affects mental health.

One in 100 people in the UK have a significant facial difference, and for those affected this can have a profound effect on mental health. This research will result in the world’s largest study of people living with facial scars and will assess the psychological impact on patients – allowing the development of effective healthcare strategies for future patients.

Professor Ian Whitaker, Chair of Plastic Surgery at Swansea University Medical School and Surgical Speciality Lead for Health and Care Research Wales, will lead this pioneering research. He explains, “Successful translation of this research program will transform the future of surgery, removing the need to transfer tissue from one part of the body to another and avoid the associated pain and scarring.

Professor Whitaker continues, “Although we are currently focused on cartilage, the scientific concepts and platform technologies our work is based on can be applied to tissue types such as blood vessel, nerve, bone, skin and fat which will enhance the impact significantly.”

Find out more about Swansea University’s research into Health Innovation.

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Content added on 4th November 2021. 

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