With advances in nanotechnology comes opportunities to see how those developments can be used in medical electronics. So, it's great news to hear that Glasgow University (Scotland) has opened a £5 million (>$10 million) center for research into the systems like pill-sized medical sensors, according to a report in the Glasgow Herald. The report noted that the university hopes that by bringing together experts in both designing and manufacturing systems, the new Electronics Design Centre for Heterogeneous Systems will be at the forefront medical developments.
The center, which will be headed by Prof. David Cumming, focuses on nanotechnology-based components. According to the report, Cumming has been "working on lab-on-a-pill technology, including developing ways of scanning people for illnesses using devices that can be swallowed." In addition to sensors, the systems include wireless systems used to transmit data.
The center will complete research for government agencies and for corporations, including device companies. The center is already working with firms such as National Semiconductor, Fujitsu, and Freescale, all of which have facilities in Scotland.
The report noted that the university will also look to commercialize discoveries, possibly through spin-off companies.
Cumming told the Herald that the center fills a gap in British electronics research for the design of electronic devices and systems. The center is close to the university's James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, which enables it to bring together experts both in the design and assembly of nanotechnology devices. Agilent, which has offices near Edinburgh, provided measurement equipment to the center. It will also be funding some research at the facility. The center is being funded with £3.55 million (>$7 million) from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research, the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences, as well as £626,000 (>$1.2 million) from the government-funded Scottish Funding Council and £950,000 (>$1.9 million) from the university itself. Initially, the center will have about 20 academics and research students. Cumming told the Herald that he expects to have about 40 employees and PhD students within two years.