There are two themes to the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease’s bioengineering research – biomaterials and biomechanics – and both of them are transforming lives.

We are looking for materials which can be tailored to replace and augment tissues in humans and animals, particularly focusing on the ocular and musculoskeletal systems. We are working with materials which are already available, and also redesigning and developing them to optimise their benefits.

We conduct research which not only studies individual components of the body, but the whole person, as well as the influence and effect of outside factors. We’re also involved in gait analysis, including major collaborations with our colleagues at Leahurst, the University’s veterinary hospital.

The projects we’re involved in are already reaping rewards for patients:

  • One of the materials we created is now in clinical practice, helping those who’ve suffered retinal detachment 
  • We have created a substrate to enable the growth of cells with which we aim to treat age-related macular degeneration
  • One group is considering how vision can affect the way people walk
  • We study tissue such as tendons, ligaments and bone, as well as how people and animals move, to examine the stability of the whole body
  • We are examining the properties of materials to see how they react within a biological environment, giving positive long-lasting results for humans and animals.

We’re collaborating with experts home and abroad. We work with St Paul’s Eye Unit here in Liverpool and clinicians at Leahurst. We have attracted significant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and work closely with research organisations such as Fight for Sight and the Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness, part of the charity of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Trust.