Last month he was awarded The Chapman Medal by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), in addition to The Royal Society of Engineers Armourers and Braziers Prize, and his 42nd EPSRC award. These awards are in recognition of Professor Edirisinghe’s distinguished research in developing innovative biomaterials, enabling a multitude of developments in material engineering, and in particular healthcare and drug delivery.
As head of UCL’s Biomaterials Processing Lab, Professor Edirisinghe has devoted his research career to developing new methods of creating materials, which have led to a number of patented techniques. His pioneering use of pressurised gyration enabled the development of polyester nano-fibres, which are finer than a human hair, a technique that has subsequently been used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries to produce antimicrobial filters. His research in nano-bubble technology has led to the creation of new drug delivery technology, including layered drug capsules, while his pioneering work in electrohydrodyanmic (EHD) techniques has led to developments in tissue engineering and orthopaedic implants.
He is also this year’s winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Braziers Prize, and was this month awarded his 42nd EPSRC grant, along with Professor Duncan Craig (UCL School of Pharmacy), to develop his work in the field of nano-fibrous meshes. Here, they aim to build on earlier work on electric field driven technology to make therapeutic nanofibres using a small mobile device outside of the laboratory environment, so that they could be created in hospitals and healthcare settings, thus widening their use and uptake.
Explaining his passion for his work, Professor Edirisinghe said:
“I’m a maker and an innovator, and I want to help make things that previously couldn’t be made. In healthcare, people want smaller and smaller features, so I want to invent new methods of production that will also scale up, making them attractive to industry. Ultimately, new materials will reach a patient or user and give them and their clinicians more freedom.
“Materials engineering holds the key to many solutions for academia and industry, and I enjoy working in a mechanical engineering environment as it gives me the freedom to explore manufacturing techniques. I’m honoured to receive this award in recognition of my achievements in these fields.”
Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering, said:
“Mohan is quite literally a research impact phenomenon. His track record of great success is singularly impressive and speaks to a vision of great strategic relevance. Moreover, Mohan is a delight to work with, a generous colleague as well as a trail-blazer.”
Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said:
“Mohan is an exemplary research leader, and we’re delighted that his work has been recognised by these prestigious institutions. Through his work in the Biomaterials Processing Lab he has made discoveries that have profound implications, both for the field of materials technology, and for patient care. His continued research will enable even greater innovations for academia and industry, and we extend our warmest congratulations to him and his team.”