Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Malcolm Glendenning

article posted 18 May 2016

Dr Malcolm Glendenning is Innovation Director for Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS). He is a glass technologist with 20 years’ experience of R&D, analysis and characterisation, consultancy and commercialisation of glass, glass products, glass processing and glass testing. In the last 3-4 years he has been driving the development of Innovation Activity at GTS growing the team and income. Current interests include bio-materials, photonics, materials for energy (oil, gas and nuclear) and improving bulk glass processing systems.

Driving innovation in healthcare through novel bioactive glass materials

M Marshall1, M Glendenning1, C Holcroft1, N Kirk1, M Magallanes1, Chris Sorsby2
1 Glass Technology Services Ltd.
2 VitriTech Ltd

Glass Technology Services (GTS) has been involved in the development of bio-active, bio-soluble and bio-inert glasses for a number of years. Over the past 3-4 years this activity has increased considerably.

GTS’s interest is to drive developments that lead to commercially viable products. Typically projects are based on a collaboration of a University with interesting fundamental research, and an end user who wants to take a product to market with GTS and others providing the facilities and process development to bridge the gap in between.

GTS has been working on additive manufacturing of bio-active glasses with the University of Sheffield and JRI Orthopaedics for acetabular cups, and on bio-active glass based implants for knee defects in the EU Restoration project led by Newcastle University. Further work on additive manufacture, with laser sintering, for complex implant revision has been carried out with the University of Leeds and JRI Orthopeadics, while GTS is also involved with projects on resurfacing of teeth in the EU Lustre project led by the University of Leeds. Work has also been carried out with the University of Nottingham on the development of soluble phosphate fibres for reinforcement.

The results of several recent projects will be described including the project carried out with the University of Nottingham to produce multiple tows of 20 micron glass fibres which can then be woven into fabrics for biomedical applications.

At the same time GTS has recently launched a new manufacturing capability for these glasses in a spin out company VitriTech. VitriTech has recently acquired the assets and business of another company (Giltech) and is now setting up to manufacturing of bio-soluble and bio-active glasses in a facility near Sheffield. This includes further fibre drawing capability producing 50-500 fibres simultaneously as well as producing glass in other formats. The capability will be briefly described. Products will be used in a variety of medical applications including implants and wound care.