Search UK Society for Biomaterials.

This site uses cookies ⇒ more information on how and why we use them

New research takes step towards laser printed medical electronics

Researchers have taken a major step towards 3D laser-printed materials that could be used in surgical procedures to implant or repair medical devices.

A team of scientists, led by researchers at Lancaster University, have developed a method to 3D print flexible electronics using the conducting polymer polypyrrole, and they have shown that it is possible to directly print these electrical structures on or in living organisms (roundworms).

Although at a proof of concept stage, researchers believe this type of process, when fully developed, has the potential to print patient-specific implants for a variety of applications, including real-time health monitoring and medical interventions, such as treating epilepsy or pain.

Dr John Hardy, Senior Lecturer in Materials Chemistry at Lancaster University and one of the lead authors of the study, said: “This approach potentially transforms the manufacture of complex 3D electronics for technical and medical applications – including structures for communication, displays, and sensors, for example. Such approaches could revolutionize the way we implant but also repair medical devices. For example, one day technologies like this could be used to fix broken implanted electronics through a process similar to laser dental/eye surgery. Once fully mature, such technology could transform a currently major operation into a much simpler, faster, safer and cheaper procedure.”

In a two-stage study, the researchers used a Nanoscribe (a high-resolution laser 3D printer) to 3D print an electrical circuit directly within a silicone matrix (using an additive process). They demonstrated that these electronics can stimulate mouse neurones in vitro (similar to how neural electrodes are used for deep brain stimulation in vivo).

Dr Damian Cummings, Lecturer in Neuroscience at University College London, a co-author of the study who lead the brain stimulation work, said: “We took 3D printed electrodes and placed them on a slice of mouse brain tissue that we kept alive in vitro.  Using this approach, we could evoke neuronal responses that were similar to those seen in vivo.  Readily customised implants for a wide range of tissues offers both therapeutic potential and can be utilised in many research fields.”

In the second stage of the study, the researchers 3D printed conducting structures directly in nematode worms demonstrating that the full process (ink formulations, laser exposure and printing) is compatible with living organisms.

Dr Alexandre Benedetto, Senior Lecturer in Biomedicine at Lancaster University, and another lead author of the study, said: “We essentially tattooed conductive patches on tiny worms using smart ink and lasers instead of needles. It showed us that such technology can achieve the resolution, safety and comfort levels required for medical applications. Although improvement in infrared laser technology, smart ink formulation and delivery will be critical to translating such approaches to the clinic, it paves the way for very exciting biomedical innovations.”

The researchers believe these results are an important step highlighting the potential for additive manufacturing approaches to produce next-generation advanced material technologies – in particular, integrated electronics for technical and bespoke medical applications.

The next steps in the development in research are already underway exploring the materials in which it is possible to print, the types of structures it is possible to print and developing prototypes to showcase to potential end users who may be interested in co-development of the technology. The researchers believe the technology is around 10 to 15 years from being fully developed.

Their findings are reported in the paper ‘Creating 3D objects with integrated electronics via multiphoton fabrication in vitro and in vivo’ which is published in the academic journal Advanced Material Technologies.

The research was supported with funding from a variety of sources including: the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust, and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

DOI: 10.1002/admt.202201274

ETPN / HT4EU Alliance match-making event on IHI calls 3 & 4 on Nov. 25. Register for free

Dear colleagues, 

the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is about to launch its 3rd & 4th calls for proposals (see details here).

We would like to draw your attention in particular to call #3 Topic 4: “Strengthening the European ecosystem for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) and other innovative therapeutic modalities for rare diseases”. This is a unique opportunity of funding for nanomedicine innovative projects, and we therefore want to strongly mobilize the whole European Nanomedicine & HealthTech community to address it.

Therefore, the ETPN will organize an online matchmaking event for its members on Friday November 25, at 4PM (CET).


  • FREE BUT MANDATORY REGISTRATION for the ETPN matchmaking event on “ATMPs for rare diseases”: BY CLICKING HERE.
  • Deadline to register: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5PM (CET)
  • You may send additional documents regarding your projects ideas and/or offers of collaboration for the call on ATMPs for rare diseases on this shared folder.

During the registration process on Zoom events, you will be asked to fill-in a short form that will allow us to collect in advance your expression of interest in the Call #3 topic #4 & the other various upcoming calls, and hence organize the most efficient and useful online brokerage session for you.


We are convinced that the rich community of ETPN & HT4EU members can help you to prepare stronger consortia, matching the industry needs, with unique cross-tech solutions coming from the 7 European Technology Organizations united in HT4EU. Our goal is therefore to offer you to the opportunity to:

1.     virtually meet with new potential partners in advance, 

2.     learn more about the IHI calls & their process for application

3.     start expressing your interest in getting involved in common proposals answering these calls, in particular Call 3 Topic 4 on ATMPs for rare diseases.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: the official launching of the 3rd and 4th IHI calls for proposals is about to happen by December 2022. Therefore, the information provided in this form is still tentative and is prone to potential changes in the coming weeks. Please always refer to the official information provided by IHI:

ABOUT HealthTech4EU Alliance
HealthTech4EU Alliance is the 1st cross-technology platform for healthcare in Europe. It unites 7 European technology organisations (ETOs) – namely, Photonics21, EPoSS, DIH HERO, EUMAT, ESB, ETP Textiles, and ETPN – ranging from photonics, electronics, robotics, advanced (bio)materials, textiles, to nanomedicine, to think about, co-develop and implement cross-technology solutions needed for the personalized, preventive, and digitized precision medicine of the future. 

Visit our website:

We thank you very much for your active participation in this initiative of the ETPN & HT4EU Alliance!
Any questions? Please contact us at any time :

Abstract deadline moved back

After some requests we have decided to push the deadline for #UKSB2022 abstracts back to 14th April 2022. We hope that this gives you enough time to submit your work for presentation at this years annual conference.

This year we will welcome the biomaterials community to Sheffield, where the UKSB began now 22 years ago. This will be an anniversary celebration delayed slightly due to the past few years of Covid, during which we hosted online annual meetings. #UKSB2022 is set to be an amazing event with some excellent keynote speakers lined up – more details to follow very soon.

Please see here for more details, and importantly for the abstract template and submission info.

ESB 2022

Reminder of upcoming abstract deadline for ESB2022!

The 32nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Biomaterials
will take place from September 4 to 8, 2022 in Bordeaux, France.

September, 4-8, 2022

Abstract Submission is open
Deadline : 28 February 2022

Registration through the website here.

Call for Abstracts ESB 2022 | Call for Symposia ESB 2022

Dear members of the UK Society for Biomaterials,

On behalf of the ESB 2022 Organizing Committee, we would like to remind you some ongoing calls and extension deadlines for the 32nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials that will be held in Bordeaux, France, on 4-8 September 2022.

  • The Call for Abstracts is open until the 28th of February 2022.

For more information, please visit the conference website

Please do not hesitate to contact us ( in case you have any question or comment.

On behalf of the whole Organizing Committee, we thank you very much in advance for your contribution and support.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the 32nd ESB Conference in Bordeaux! 

Kind regards,

Joëlle Amédée, ESB 2022 Chair

Didier Letourneur, ESB 2022 Co-Chair

Jean Christophe Fricain, ESB 2022 Co-Chair

Call for Larry Hench Award #UKSB2022

The Larry Hench Young Investigators Prize is a £500 prize to a promising young research scientist in recognition of outstanding and innovative contributions in a selected field of biomaterials research.

Instructions to Applicant:

In order to complete this application for the award the applicant should follow the instructions given below:

1.    The applicant must submit their CV using the template provided (link below).

2.    Please ensure this CV (including the supporting statement) is no longer than three A4 pages (2 pages for the CV and 1 page maximum for the supporting statement).

3.    Please ensure that the font used is a standard font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman) and is no smaller than size 10.

4.    Details of what should be included in each section are provided in the CV template (please delete the instructions for each section).

5.    Please email your completed CV to the UKSB at the following email address:
(Subject line – “Larry Hench Award 2022“)

6.    The deadline for receiving the emailed applications is: EXTENDED TO FRIDAY 11th MARCH 2022

7.    The UKSB council will make the final decision on the award based only on the information provided on the 2 A4 page CV. Additional information to this will not be considered. Canvassing of UKSB council members is not permitted.

8.    Successful applicants will have to provide an abstract of their work for publication on the UKSB website and present at the UKSB Annual Conference.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Evidence of peer reviewed publications
  • Outstanding contribution and demonstrable research in the field of biomaterials or related areas.
  • Experience in presenting at international and national conferences.
  • Applicants must be no more than 7 years post final degree award at the deadline for submission of application.
  • Applicants can be UK nationals currently researching at an overseas institute, or foreign nationals currently studying in the UK, both must demonstrate 2 years of contribution to UK Biomaterials research.

Previous prize winners along with other benefits from the Society can be found here.

Save the Date! #UKSB2022

This year’s annual conference will be hosted in The University of Sheffield June 27-28th. This will be a celebration of coming out of covid, with a full programme planned over 2 days. We had intended on holding a 20th Anniversary meeting in 2020 but clearly our plans were halted with all the restrictions, and we thought that it would be much better to celebrate together when we can – and here we are planning the event for this summer!

More details coming out soon, but for now:

  • Abstracts call open – deadline 30th March 2022
  • Registration opens shortly
  • Abstract notifications – we’ll let know by 29th April 2022
  • Early bird deadline – 6th May 2022

We are currently putting together packages for sponsorship, so if you are interested to help support this event please do get in touch.

Any queries and abstract submissions to

UKSB Sponsored Lab-2-Lab Awards

It’s been too long since we’ve not felt free to go to physical conferences, to go and work collaboratively in other labs, to learn new skills, share ideas and drive proof-of-concept biomaterials advances across a number of research groups. You might be thinking to start a new inititive. You might have been talking over the past months about some work you want to do with a colleague or PhD student from another group. Check out the UKSB Lab-2-Lab Scheme.

This award is open to all UKSB members facilitating interactions between 2 or more labs to support the development of new collaborations. The application process is simple, with a batching date coming up soon.

Check out our Prizes and Awards page to find out more.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis – batching dates are 1st Jan and 1st August. The UKSB council may consider awards submitted between these dates as appropriate.

Vacancy for UKSB council members

The UKSB is looking to expand its council. We are happy to receive interest and nominations from those working in the multidisciplinary area of biomaterials, from academic, industrial or clinical backgrounds.

To nominate yourself or someone else please email stating clearly why you or your nominee would be a good candidate for the UKSB council.

Positions Available

2 Posts available within the Biomaterials groups at the University of Manchester

Experimental Officer in Biomedical Materials – permanent position! – click here for more info and to apply.

The Henry Royce Institute (Royce) is an EPSRC-funded national institute. With its Hub at The University of Manchester, the Institute has spokes at nine Partner and Associate organisations: the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Cranfield, Oxford and Imperial College London, as well as at the UK Atomic Energy Authority and National Nuclear Laboratory. Royce, driven by a vision of ‘advanced materials for a sustainable society’, supports the UK in growing its world-leading research and innovation in advanced materials. Strategic investment in the Biomedical Materials research area has enabled us to develop comprehensive suites of equipment to ‘make, characterise and test’ biomedical materials which will help accelerate the development of advanced materials in the healthcare sector.

The Experimental Officer will be primarily responsible for managing the highly specialised equipment that form a suite of facilities, including containment level 2 cell culture laboratories, within the new, £105m Royce Hub Building. You will provide support for ongoing laboratory studies as well as overseeing the organisation and daily running of specific projects and practical courses in cell culture, molecular biology, and biomaterials/tissue engineering. You will actively participate in the broader community associated with Royce’s Biomedical Materials research theme, including researchers, students, industry collaborators and customers, and will provide support to facility users on the use of a wide range of scientific equipment and the interpretation of acquired data.

Closing date – 18th August 2021

PhD in metallic oesophageal stents – ideal for Materials Science graduate with an interest in improving outcomes for patients. Click here for more info and to apply.

Cancer Research UK describes 9,200 new cases of oesophageal cancer per year in 2017. 70% are diagnosed at a late stage, being incurable and causing 7,925 deaths / year.

Treatments using chemotherapy and radiotherapy – and more recently hormone therapy – have improved patient survival in recent years, extending survival of stent patients after receiving a stent from an average of 3months in 2004 to currently 15-18months. Most oesophageal cancers present late and are not curable and most patients eventually require insertion of a stent (most commonly a nitinol stent) to keep the lumen of the oesophagus and allow the patient to continue to eat.

These stents were originally designed for use in blood vessels but have been adapted for use in the gastro-intestinal tract and oesophagus therefore subjecting the stents to a different working environment especially chemical, due to exposure of the low pH of gastric acid, but also mechanical due to the movement and compression of oesophageal function (peristalsis). As a consequence an increasing number of patients experience device failure, requiring repeat procedures.

The re-intervention rate at 6months reaches 60%, which is now resulting in increased stent failures, which necessitate further procedures, and puts the patient at additional risk.

By improving the properties of these nitinol stents, we can improve their working life and remove the need for removal and replacement. This will improve clinical outcome and patient experience and reduce the need for repeat procedures and the associated costs to the NHS.

Banner caption: Phase contrast microscopy of SHSY in collagen gel
→ More member's images are available in our gallery