Life sciences collaboration aims to improve healthcare safety

An Inverness-based life sciences company is joining forces with the University of the Highlands and Islands to analyse the effectiveness of its products. Researchers from the university’s biomedical sciences team will work with Aseptium to assess the company’s decontamination systems.

Based on Inverness Campus, Aseptium develops technologies to decontaminate medical devices. Its products aim to reduce infections carried by unclean surgical instruments.
Professor Phillip Whitfield and Dr Mary Doherty will use the university’s mass spectrometer, a machine which measures the mass of molecules, to analyse the effectiveness of Aseptium’s systems. Initial tests have shown the products help improve cleaning effectiveness, but this new study will provide detailed information on the types and levels of difficult to remove particles.
Professor Whitfield explains: “Our techniques will provide Aseptium with high-grade analytical information which can be used to validate their current products and help in designing new ones. We are delighted to be able to use our expertise and equipment to support a local company in this way.”
Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski, Aseptium Founder and Managing Director, said: “Further analysis of contamination on the molecular level is critical for deeper understanding of the cleaning processes that, at the end of the day, make surgical instruments safe for the patients. We are very much looking forward to the results of the study to improve our current products and perhaps develop even better solutions in the future.”
The six-month research project is being supported by the Collaborative Campus Challenge Fund, administered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The fund aims to take forward new life sciences developments in and around Inverness Campus, by supporting collaboration between academic organisations and businesses.
Karen Thomson, HIE’s senior development manager for Inverness Campus, said: “Inverness Campus is designed to boost the significant contribution the growing life sciences sector makes to regional development across the Highlands and Islands. The Collaborative Campus Challenge Fund supports projects that are led by education organisations and crucially that involve joint working with commercial partners. It’s about companies and organisations exchanging and sharing new ideas and information to develop innovative solutions for medical and healthcare issues. This new project by the University of the Highlands and Islands and Aseptium is an excellent example and we look forward to hearing how it progresses.”
The University of the Highlands and Islands was awarded £9 million from the UK Government as part of the Inverness and Highlands City-Region Deal, which is jointly funded by both the UK and Scottish Government, to establish commercialisation, academic and clinical capacity to deliver projects in health, social care and life sciences.