Our impact and success
Dr Curtis Dobson: Ai2
An award-winning company, committed to the development of innovative technology to prevent infection on a wide range of commonly used medical devices
Almost all medical devices which come into direct contact with the patient share a common drawback: although initially sterile, they can harbour microbes, and sometimes this leads to a serious infection of the person the devices were intended to help. Dr Curtis Dobson has invented a technology based on a novel anti-infective protein he discovered, to provide a potential solution to this unglamorous, yet clinically highly significant problem of medical device infection. In 2005 Dr Dobson founded a company Ai2 Ltd to enable him to commercialise his inventions.
Ai2’s first commercial target has been the contact lens sector, a billion pound industry affected by rare but serious eye infections in wearers. Every year around 6,000 of the world’s 100 million contact lens wearers suffer a permanent decrease in the quality of their vision, following eye infection caused by their contact lenses. The Ai2 anti-infective technology can be used directly on the lens itself and as the disinfectant within the continuing care solution used to clean the lenses. Ai2 have signed a major commercial deal for their technology with Sauflon Pharmaceuticals; a market-leading UK-based contact lens company.
Ai2 is also pursuing other technical development projects currently aiming to demonstrate the applicability for the technology in other fields, including coatings for wound dressings, catheters, orthopaedic devices and as agents for use in oral care products.
Curtis Dobson's staff profile
Dr Sheena Cruickshank
Our wonderful, wormy world!
Do you know what parasitic worms are? Are parasitic worms common and do they cause health issues? Well, three billion people in the world have parasitic worm infections, with pregnant women and children worst affected. Affected people are often malnourished, tired, have stomach pain, diarohoea and can suffer from stunted growth. Globally, worm infections are a major issue trapping whole communities in poverty. Parasitic worms also infect animals and are a significant issue for farming and even zoos and household pets!
The Manchester Immunology Group’s research is all about the body’s defence system (immune system) and how it tackles infections like parasitic worms. We have developed a mobile workshop called “The Worm Wagon” which uses fun interactive activities to teach people all about our wormy research. We work will all ages and sectors of the community and since 2009 have run 25 events with over 5000 people attending. Sample comments from activity participants include: “I had no idea worms were so important,” and “You are breaking barriers” and “It’s been fantastic. Totally changed my mind about science.”
For more details see: Manchester Immunology Group : Public Activities
Sheena Cruickshank's staff profile
Dr Mike Briggs
Network to integrate research and diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias – a genetic disorder affecting the development of the skeleton
Skeletal dysplasias are a diverse and complex group of rare genetic disorders affecting the development of the skeleton. Over 300 different conditions have been described, ranging in severity from mild to life threatening. The overall prevalence of these conditions is at least 4 per 10,000 of the population, suggesting that at least 200,000 people in the 25 EU member states suffer from these bone diseases.
The research activities of Dr Mike Briggs have had a major influence on the diagnosis of these diseases through a pan-European skeletal dysplasia network (ESDN). Research has included the identification and characterisation of the genes and mutations responsible for several of these diseases, which has led directly to the development and improvement of a diagnostics service both in the UK and also worldwide via the network.
The network was established in January 2002 with a European government grant, to develop an integrated research and diagnostic network for skeletal dysplasias. ESDN was the first trans-national diagnostic network for any genetic disease grouping and it continues to link centres of excellence involved in specialist research and the diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias.
Since September 2003, ESDN has received over 1,500 referrals from clinicians through an electronic system. This system allows clinicians to submit cases electronically, directly to ESDN from anywhere in the world, giving quick and easy access to expert advice. To date 400 active users are accessing ESDN from 45 different countries worldwide.
Mike Brigg's staff profile