The health and medicine space has been dominated by the global pandemic for the past few years, but technologies in the health space extend far beyond vaccines and drug therapies. Systems that enable rapid delivery and therapeutic uptake of drugs are just as important to advancing the healthcare sector.

Hydrogel materials are one of the most ubiquitous systems used throughout the healthcare industry – from drug delivery and encapsulation devices, to contact lenses, as well as bone, tissue, and cartilage replacement materials. These systems for the backbone of the healthcare space. But work into the marriage of novel biocompatible materials with advanced additive manufacturing technology is at the forefront of chemical engineering for this space.

Rapid, bespoke prototyping of scaffolds for bone and tissue regeneration which incorporates an individual’s growth factors and protein sequences to minimise rejection and inflammation is challenging. Additionally, advances in polymerisation rates and methodologies would be required to incorporate these sensitive chemicals into resin matrices without damaging them during the polymerisation process. It is these processes and unique biocompatible hydrogel materials which SPARC is researching.