The University of Birmingham and Southeast University have launched two projects in China with the funding support of CNY2m ($282,520) from Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) to fight cancer and medical implant failure.

Researchers expect to identify brain tumours at a faster pace by combining artificial intelligence (AI), MRI technology and pathology.

Biomedical engineering researchers are also looking at bone cement with the ability to degrade on its own, stimulating the body to slowly replace the cement with natural bone.

This project will aid the regeneration of the human body while mitigating the risk of long-term implant failure. Ceramic bone cement remains in the body for some time. However, it is usually brittle, posing a risk of failure in the long term.

University of Birmingham vice-chancellor and professor David Eastwood said: “The University of Birmingham is a world leader in biosciences and our partnership with experts at Southeast University and JITRI is making promising progress in the fight against diseases such as cancer and the regeneration of the human body.

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“We are a global university with a civic outlook and I am delighted that we are continuing to build our excellent relationship with Southeast University. Our new venture could help to improve health outcomes for millions of people in China and beyond.”

The announcement comes after the universities agreed in May 2018 to establish a joint research centre in biomedical engineering.

Professors Baoping and Southeast University president and professor Zhang Guangjun have also signed an agreement to develop a joint research centre for data science in biomedical research.

The University of Birmingham’s Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI) will lead the partnership, which will work with the Southeast University’s (SEU) Institute of Biomedical Devices (IBMD).

The researchers will develop programmes to create products offering better patient outcomes, focusing on osteoinductive materials, ocular drug/cell delivery and protection, switchable biological surfaces and molecular diagnostic technologies, as well as brain image analysis.

SEU has allotted space for medical technologies development laboratory at its IBMD facility in Suzhou Hi-tech Park. The lab will host joint research centre projects.