Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
RoadToBio will deliver a roadmap that will specify the benefits for the chemical industry along the path towards a bioeconomy to meet the societal needs in 2030. The roadmap will contain the following two main components: (1) An analysis of the most promising opportunities (sweet spots) for the chemical industry to increase its bio-based portfolio, as well as the technological and commercial barriers and the hurdles in regulations and acceptance by society, governing bodies and the industry itself. (2) A strategy, action plan and engagement guide to overcome the existing and anticipated barriers and hurdles as mentioned above. Furthermore it will bring together different parts of chemical industry, society, and governing bodies, to start a dialogue and to create a platform where this action plan can unfold its full potential, in order to help meet the very ambitious targets of the BIC for 2030. The approach is based on three pillars, which are (a) analysis of status quo and potentials, (b) forward looking activities, (c) continuous feedback loops and interactions with stakeholders. The results will be wrapped up and phrased as a roadmap and an engagement guide describing the benefits and a way forward for the European Chemical Industry towards a more bio-based future. In order to derive a holistic roadmap that can lead the way, the analytical part of the project will consider feedstocks, technologies and markets as well as regulatory issues, societal needs, consumer questions and communication. The consortium partners bring in complementary expertise in relevant fields of the bioeconomy and chemical industry, covering in depth all aspects that need to be included in the roadmap. All partners have been or are still actively involved in successfully completed and ongoing FP7, H2020, and BBI projects on different aspects of the bioeconomy, as well as in several groups and committees working on political or standardization aspects of bio-based products.
Acid erosion due to food and drink intake in particular and tooth surface loss due to general wear of the dentition is a global problem. Continual erosion and loss of the surface enamel of the tooth leads to hypersensitivity. This oral condition is acute in both children and the ageing population of society and can have a significant impact on the quality of life. The 2011 census points out that 16.3% of the population of England and N Ireland is above 65 years old (Daily Telegraph 17 July 2012), which suggests that the number of people suffering from acid erosion may continue to rise in years to come. This means that there is an even more urgent need to provide a robust solution for restoring lost enamel, a problem that remains intractable for clinical dentistry. To address this problem, we propose research into an engineering methodology to spray the tooth with a thin mineral layer that is then densified and bonded to the underlying tooth using an ultrafast laser irradiation pulse. The cross-disciplinary LUMIN project will develop and exploit the technology of micro-nozzle bio-mineral delivery in Task (a) and its subsequent sintering using femto-second pulsed (fsp) lasers for the restoration of acid-eroded enamel. The operating wavelength of the proposed fsp lasers will be in the eye-safe regions of the near-IR (1500-2100 nm) and will offer flexibility in terms of energy/power delivery by engineering the laser cavity, which is the main goal of Task (b). An additional goal of Task (b), as stated in the objective section above, is to integrate the micro-nozzle bio-mineral delivery system from Task (a) with lasers on a single platform for achieving rapid sintering in the deposited bio-mineral layers on to the acid-eroded enamel surface. During this research, novel acid-resistant enamel mineral substitutes, in crystalline and gel forms, will be engineered and optimized for the micro-nozzle delivery in Task (a). The integration of the materials delivery system with the fsp-laser will then yield simultaneous sintering.. The engineering approaches herein will therefore yield 3 different platform technologies for future exploitation, which will be achieved with the support from the Integrated Knowledge Centre on Tissue Engineering and Medical Technologies at Leeds. We will investigate whether the use of a micro-nozzle for gel and suspension materials with an fsp-laser poses a risk of toxicity due to generation and release of nano-scale particulates (some may argue these might be photosensitized by the intense beam of the fsp-laser). In Task (c) we will therefore assess any nano-particle and photo-induced toxicity and perform a risk analysis. This will conform to standard clinical procedures with an aim to thus identify and minimise any imminent risk. Following Task (c), our goal in Task (d) is to implement the engineering approaches, developed in Tasks (a) and (b) together with the risk mitigation strategy in Task (c) for testing fsp-laser sintered enamel minerals in the oral environment using in-situ mouth appliance trials, a technique pioneered at the Leeds Dental Institute to minimising the risks in extensive in-vivo trials. In Task (d) the sintered materials will be characterised for acid erosion, durability, hardness, toughness, and flexural bend with using the assembled academic expertise in materials science and engineering and clinical dentistry. The IKC team will provide support, via Dr. Graeme Howling's expertise, to develop technology exploitation through the project partners, M-Squared Lasers, British Glass, and Giltec in the first instance. The project also aims to establish academic links with overseas academic institutions e.g. the IMI at Lehigh and Penn State in Materials Science, and with Stanford and Caltec in the US via the SUPA led EPSRC funded collaboration. The industry-academia link with the Photonics KTN in the UK is also expected to develop during the course of project.
Deaths and injuries from the effects of land-mines are common results of both active war-zones and post-conflict legacies. Aside from the regular headline-making news when UK armed forces are attacked by IEDs, it has been calculated that some 110 million land-mines are left in post-conflict zones, leading to the death of around 800 people per month and the maiming of many others. Development of protective clothing and footwear, vehicle design and retrofitting systems and efficient mine clearance systems for both active defence and civilian mine-clearance operatives, depends on the accurate assessment of the blast loading produced by the detonation of a shallow-buried explosive. This is a highly complex detonation event, involving the interaction of extremely high-energy shock waves with multiple materials in different phases (soil, air and water). This project aims to develop a deep understanding of how the soil surrounding buried explosives affects the resulting detonation and to develop advanced soil models which describe this behaviour. With a newly applied methodology this project aims to test clays with a high degree of accuracy to develop a dataset that will complement an existing equivalent data for sands and gravels. This will allow a direct comparison between the two soil types to assess the main contributing factors to the blast created during the tests. It has been postulated by other researchers that the resulting impulse given out by a shallow buried explosive is inversely proportional to the shear strength of the soil in which the explosive is buried. This hypothesis is to be tested by developing a new high pressure, high strain rate testing apparatus to shear soils in similar conditions to those experienced in explosive events. This novel apparatus will for the first time be able to investigate the fundamental shear properties of compressible materials. The understanding gained from this project will provide a revolutionary dataset for the modelling of soil-explosive interaction events and lead to developments in protective solutions for both civilian and defence applications.
The determination of the structure of biological macromolecules using X-ray crystallography is providing information about how biological systems work at the level of individual molecules. This information has transformed our understanding of some of the fundamental processes of life. One example is the crystal structures of the protein haemoglobin in the presence and absence of oxygen which explain how blood cells are able to transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. A second example would be how the activity of metabolic enzymes such as glycogen phosphorylase are regulated so that cells either burn or store food depending on the nutritional state of the organism. In addition, crystal structures of key proteins can give important information about what happens at the molecular level in disease or infection and can guide the development of new drugs. A striking and topical example is the determination of the structure of the enzyme neuraminidase from the influenza virus. The structure was used to direct the development of the drugs relenza and subsequently tamiflu. Moreover, structures of neuraminidase and other influenza proteins allow us to understand why variants of flu (such as avian influenza or the Spanish flu of 1918) are so virulent, perhaps providing guidance on developing even better drugs. There are a number of steps in protein crystallography before a structure can be determined. The process starts with the production of large quantities of the protein of interest. The next, key step is to produce crystals of the protein. This can be a long and difficult process, finding the right solution conditions under which crystals will form. Crystals are necessary as when you shine X-rays on a crystal, you obtain a diffraction pattern from which, with a lot of effort, you can extract an image of what the structure of the molecule looks like. Therefore, the success of X-ray analysis is underpinned and determined by successful provision of crystals. In recent years, there have been continual improvements in both the design of the solution conditions and the robotics equipment available for setting up large numbers of crystallisation trials. A particularly important development has been the use of very small, nano-litre sized drops. These reduce the amount of protein that needs to be used, increases the number of crystallisation trials that can be conducted and in some cases, the small drops have increased the success of forming crystals. The Structural Biology Laboratory at York (YSBL) is one of the largest laboratories in Europe dedicated to the determination and analysis of protein structure. Scientists in YSBL have made major contributions by not only determining the structures of many important proteins, but also in developing the experimental and computational methods that are required for X-ray crystal structure determination. One element of this methods development has been devising new crystallisation screen solutions and also working with the manufacturers in developing improved robotics equipment. This application is for an upgrade to the robotics equipment that supports crystallisation trials in YSBL. This will allow scientists at York to benefit from some of the advances in equipment, to determine the structures of more proteins, more rapidly, but also to continue to work with manufacturers in making further improvements.