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Engineering Solutions for Musculoskeletal and Cardiovascular Disease

As we age, our musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems degenerate; impairing mobility, ability to work, and quality of life. Yet our expectations for health, activity and wellbeing in the second 50 years of life are increasing.

WELMEC, a Wellcome Trust and EPSRC funded Centre of Excellence in Medical Engineering, researches and develops new types of intervention for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, providing biological and biomechanical functionality by harnessing the regenerative potential of patient’s own cells.

By addressing a series of clinical
innovation challenges with over
200 academics, industrialists and
clinicians, our vision is to develop:

  • longer lasting joint replacements for the hip, knee and spine
  • novel regenerative biological scaffolds for degenerative joint tissues and cardiovascular surgery
  • advances in cell therapies using a patient's own cells
  • advances in medical imaging to facilitate earlier diagnosis and intervention
  • novel protein biosensors for disease diagnosis and improved patient targeting

The multidisciplinary environment

Established the University of Leeds as a distinctive world-leading multidisciplinary research and innovation centre in medical engineering



academic researchers across ten disciplines.

Established funded collaborations with


43 clinicians


59 industrial partners


57 external academic partners

The strategic scientific and technology achievements

  • Developed computational and experimental simulation systems to predict the function of biomaterials and devices in vivo. These methods are now being used in collaborative research to support new product development and pre-clinical trials.
  • Researched and collaboratively translated medical device and biomaterial interventions for musculoskeletal disease, focusing on longer lasting joint replacements.
  • Invented novel acellular scaffolds for tissue repair in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system and for wound-care, which have been translated as class three regenerative devices.
  • Developed companion technologies in the form of sensors and applied imaging techniques to support stratification of populations, interventions and personalised therapies.

Leverage resources and created growth

Leveraged over

of new research income

of which over

will fund research in 2015 - 2022

Grown the annual expenditure per annum on research to

4m in 2008 to > 10m in 2015

Outputs and outcomes


journal papers

Developed an IP portfolio of

patent families


proof of concept projects advancing technology along the translation pathway.

Secured over

private sector investment into the private sector to support development and commercialisation of our IP and knowledge, arising from direct and indirect activities.


products to be developed commercially to deliver patient benefit.

Trained over
72 PhDs  / 65 PDRAs

providing higher level research skills and experience in innovation, translation and commercialisation.

Delivered an extensive programme of public engagement in schools and at science festivals.

Sustainably developed one of the leading medical engineering centres in Europe
with a distinctive reputation for innovation and translation.

Our Awards

Key Awards

Queens Anniversary Award for Higher Education iMBE 2011

CBE for Services to Bioengineering (Fisher) 2012

RCUKWoman of Outstanding Achievement Award (Ingham) 2012

Charles Tome Medal, Royal College of Surgeons (Kirkham) 2012

UK Biomaterials Society Presidents Prize (Fisher) 2013

Faraday Prize Institute of Physics (Davies) 2014


Developed a sustainable plan and have secured funding of over

(£10m per annum) to support the future delivery of research and innovation activities out to 2022. This includes:

Mede Logo Medical Technologies Logo EPSRC Logo