The UK Metamaterials Community was initially shaped in 2020 with joint funding from EPSRC, DSTL and Innovate UK KTN. Its purpose is to develop the pipeline from preliminary metamaterial analysis discovery via to the commercialisation and utility of those applied sciences.

By enterprise in depth promotion of the advantages of metamaterial expertise, facilitating entry to metamaterial specialists and services and nurturing nearer interactions with end-users, we wish to faucet into the huge potential of metamaterials. We’ve got continued to develop since our inception and, as of March 2023, now have over 670 members unfold throughout academia, business, authorities businesses and funding our bodies.

In broad phrases, metamaterials are 3D constructions product of metals, plastics, and/or ceramics which have properties not potential with solely their unstructured constituent supplies. These properties happen in response to an exterior enter equivalent to publicity to gentle, mechanical forces, or sound waves. The subject is inherently interdisciplinary spanning superior supplies science, theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, chemistry, biology, engineering (mechanical and electrical), acoustics, pc science and robotics. Metamaterials and metamaterial gadgets differ in dimension from photonic gadgets on the nanoscale all the way in which as much as bigger methods interacting with metre wavelengths. This all combines to current a myriad of alternatives utilising totally different metamaterial regimes and facets.

Some metamaterials have already begun to seek out their approach into the healthcare expertise market equivalent to Metasonixx, whose acoustic metamaterials have been trialled in NHS hospitals to cut back noise while nonetheless permitting air to circulation freely, and Pinpoint Medical, who use plasmonic biosensor metamaterial assays to permit detection of a number of pathogens in a single pattern. The breadth of expertise lined by metamaterials means that there’s nonetheless an unlimited array of alternatives for metamaterials to make an impression within the medical and well being expertise sector (together with the preventative stage equivalent to in PPE) which can be presently unexplored. As an illustration, 3D printed metamaterial implants might supply increased strength-to-weight ratios than typical constructions while nonetheless being porous sufficient for nutrient transport all due to their structuring. Alternatively, a metamaterial antenna might be utilized in optogenetics remedies for neurological issues. These are just some examples of the quite a few ways in which metamaterials can doubtlessly revolutionise healthcare expertise and together with your assist we are able to establish different new thrilling potentialities.

Throughout the Community, we’ve just lately established the ‘Metamaterials for Well being’ Problem to establish the important thing challenges of the sector and what present metamaterials analysis instructions current the pathways to potential options. We’re eager to make connections with the medical sector so we are able to direct the utility of metamaterials to the present and future challenges going through the sector. Upscaling emergent applied sciences for utility within the medical sector typically requires substantial funding and this stays one of many key obstacles. We consider that our metamaterials experience and your data of the sector will be mixed to spotlight the alternatives the place the 2 overlap and encourage funding for analysis and growth in direction of this objective. 

To seek out out extra concerning the UK Metamaterials Community, go to Med-Tech Innovation Expo on 7-8 June on the NEC, Birmingham on Stand C32J as a part of the Begin-Up Zone. Register for FREE at www.med-techexpo.com