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Nanotechnology for health to be pioneered in Wales

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A £21.6m centre to develop nanotechnology for use in health care is to be built in Wales.

The centre, which will be located at Swansea University, will be the first state-of-the-art nanotechnology centre dedicated to health in Europe. Plans for the Centre for NanoHealth were given the green light last week after the project secured more than£10m from the Convergence European Regional Development Fund.

The nanoscale technologies that will be research could, for example, enable scientists to apply engineering methodologies to successfully build, repair tissues such as cartilage and skin using advanced cell culture techniques including adult stem cell methods.

Dr Chris Wright, portfolio director for process engineering and senior lecturer at Swansea University, said: ‘By applying techniques typically used in process engineering to regenerative medicine, we are able to not only predict and control the way cells and structures behave, but test these before they are reintroduced or implanted in the body to give better results in healthcare applications.’

Professor Steve Wilks, co-director of the Centre for NanoHealth and deputy head of the School of Engineering at the university, added: ‘Nanotechnology is widely considered to be the next big thing; with markets associated with nanotechnologies projected to exceed $2.5 trillion within 15 years.’

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