02 September 2019

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research has awarded grants amounting to SEK 200 million for research projects in the interface between technology and medicine. LiU scientists are principle investigator in three of the six projects, and co-applicant in a fourth.

Biomedical Engineering
LiU scientists have received more than SEK 100 million over five years for research in the interface between medicine and technology. Thor Balkhed

Six projects have been awarded grants of between SEK 24 and 35 million spread over five years from the Med-X programme of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. This programme is intended to strengthen research in the interface between medicine and technology, leading to new solutions to clinical needs.

Of the 67 applications, six were successful: three at Linköping University, two at Karolinska Institutet and one at Umeå University.

Karin WårdellKarin Wårdell, professor of biomedical engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, receives SEK 35 million for the project “Multimodal Guidance in Neurosurgery”. The aim of the project is to combine several types of technology, such as fibre-optic measurement systems, magnetic resonance imaging, and advanced image processing, to improve the treatment of neurological injuries such as brain tumours, head trauma, and brain haemorrhage. The scientists hope that the project will also lead to new knowledge about the human brain.

Daniel AiliDaniel Aili, associate professor of molecular physics in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, has been awarded just under SEK 30 million for the project “HEALiX: Advanced Wound Care Materials for Non-Healing Wounds”. Experts in clinical wound healing are to work with researchers and industrial partners to develop wound-care material based on nanocellulose, produced from forestry raw materials. The intention is to reduce the need for changing dressings and to reduce treatment times. The project is also to study whether simple indicators can be built into dressings to provide information about when the wound needs attention.

Magnus BerggrenMagnus Berggren, professor of organic electronics in the Department of Science and Technology, is to receive just under SEK 35 million for the “e-NeuroPharma” project. The aim of the project is to develop electronic medicines, in which biochemical substances are combined with electronic components. Disturbances in the body’s electrical nerve signals can lead to paralysis, pain and inflammation, while traditional drugs are often based on purely biochemical principles. The project is to focus on organic electronics, manufactured inside the nervous system. The intention is to “grow” electronic components inside the nervous system, with a structure and organisation that resemble the body’s own.

LiU scientists are also participating in one of the projects to be run by Karolinska Institutet. The aim of the project, “Micrometer-scale wireless cell fluorescence detection device”, is to develop a tiny unit that can be transplanted into people with diabetes to monitor the function of insulin-producing cells in real time. Professor Atila Alvandpour in the Department of Electrical Engineering and his research group are providing expertise within highly efficient circuits and electronic design.

The two other projects awarded funding concern improved measurement methods to increase our understanding of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and a new type of vaccine to be used against bacterial infections.

Translated by George Farrants

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