One of the biggest challenges facing the future of healthcare is enhancing early intervention in diagnosing and treating diseases in non-hospital environments; in the home, community clinic or local doctors’ surgery. Current medical practice is based around relatively late intervention, which with many diseases does not result in complete cure, but rather extends a patient’s life whilst, hopefully, maintaining quality of life. The key to early intervention is the earliest possible detection of disease, and the swift identification of appropriate medical or surgical treatments. The Centre for NanoHealth is a unique interdisciplinary research centre based on the application of Nanotechnology leading innovations in Healthcare established to address these challenges.
The acquisition of the latest instrumentation techniques is of important benefit to the Centre’s future research programs and the announcement that JPK Instruments is supply multiple solutions is welcomed by the group. Using JPK’s patented NanoWizard® AFM platform, systems will initially be used in three exciting applications areas. Dr. Chris Wright will lead a team to study cell mechanics as part of his program on bionanotechnology which focuses on nanoscale mechanisms of disease and its control. Dr. Peter Dunstan will be developing chemical finger printing techniques using TERS – tip enhanced Raman spectroscopy which will couple the AFM to a Raman spectrometer. Professor Steve Wilks is to use new electrical mode innovations to develop the next generation of diagnostic sensors having unprecedented sensitivity by applying nanowire technology.
Professor Steve Wilks, Deputy Head of the Swansea University’s School of Engineering and Director of The Centre for NanoHealth said: “The JPK instruments will provide the CNH with a world-leading platform to understand the behaviour of cells and proteins at the nanoscale and identify key detection mechanisms for clinical screening. This is essential for the development of next generation medical sensors for diagnosing diseases at a much earlier stage.”