Birmingham chemists win award for ground-breaking 3D printed medical devices

Dr Andrew Weems (left) and Professor Andrew Dove (right) with their award

The Royal Society of Chemistry has awarded Professor Andrew Dove and Dr Andrew Weems for their pioneering research into 3D printing of shape-changing resorbable medical devices to help the recovery of cancer patients.

Chemistry Means Business, a showcase of success and innovation in the sector across the UK and Europe took place on Monday 15 October at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster.

The focus of the event was the Emerging Technologies Competition final, in which 39 candidates – from a mixture of start-ups, SMEs and university research spin-outs – pitched their ideas to panels of experts in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition.

Within the health prize category, Professor Dove and Dr Weems won the award for their emerging technology for 3D printed polycarbonate resins that are being used to make medical devices. The focus is currently on developing devices that fill the tissue void after cancer removal surgery.

“The 3D printed materials may be processed into a device that provides a unique support structure for the tissue re-growth after the removal of the tumor. The scaffold then degrades away to leave nothing but the natural tissue behind. In operations such as breast cancer removal surgery (lumpectomies), the device can fill the void where the tumour was, to re-construct the tissue and even help to direct radiotherapy to improve patient outcomes and survival rates” – Professor Andrew Dove

With good initial biological and animal data, the research shows good promise for human translation. 

To learn more about Andrew Dove’s research, please visit the Dove Research Group webpage.