£2.8m for regenerative work

Football legend’s fund backs research into limbs

bobby-charltonA fund set up by football legend Sir Bobby Charlton is investing in research at Glasgow university into helping amputees.

Find A Better Way has raised millions of pounds to fund research into improved landmine detection and medical research into improved prosthesis and regenerative medicine for landmine victims.

Sir Bobby Charlton established it in 2011 following a visit to Cambodian minefields three years previously.

It has provided a £2.8m grant to the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology and School of Engineering to fund advances in regenerative medicine.

manuelLed by Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez (right), the project is developing a technique that improves bone-growth-promoting treatments while reducing side effects.

An estimated 1,200 civilians survive landmine accidents every month. Although blast trauma surgical techniques have improved hugely in recent years, it is hoped that future advances in regenerative medicine will improve the quality of life of landmine victims even further.

New technology can also be used to make lab-grown bone from a patient’s own bone cells. 3D printing will be used to allow the researchers to generate anatomically correct living bone implants to heal the injury best. The ultimate vision is ‘off the shelf’ bone that can be delivered anywhere in the world.

The money from Find A Better Way will fund the research for five years when it is expected an initial human trial will be completed and the technology will be ready for wider clinical testing.

Find A Better Way CEO Lou McGrath said: “Prosthesis technology and surgical skills for blast injuries have improved vastly in recent years, but regenerative medicine holds the ultimate promise for landmine victims.

“We are a long way from being able to fully restore a damaged limb fully, but this research at the University of Glasgow is a vital step and Find A Better Way are enormously proud to be funding it.”

Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez said: “This ground-breaking research will help unleash the full potential of growth factors.”

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