Sir Bobby Charlton visits synthetic bone project at the University of Glasgow funded by his charity Find A Better Way to see first hand the synthetic bone project his charity Find A Better Way is funding there.
The project was launched in December 2016 at a signing ceremony at Find A Better Way headquarters in Knutsford, Cheshire, but this will be Sir Bobby’s first chance to meet the full team, and see the labs where the work is taking place.
The project combines several technologies to produce ‘off the shelf’ bone tissue that can be stored and shipped for use around the world. Bone is one of the limiting factors in the treatment of landmine blast survivors, and when too little bone survives to fit a leg or arm prosthesis this can severely limit quality of life. Along with other uses, it is hoped the project’s synthetic bone will provide reconstructive surgeons with more options, and for landmine blast survivors to be less likely to be confined to a wheelchair.
The synthetic bone project made headlines in 2017 when William Marshall, a veterinary surgeon from the University’s Small Animal Hospital, contacted lead researchers Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez and Prof Matt Dalby. Marshall was treating a young Munsterlander named Eva with a broken leg, and following a series of complications amputation was the only option available using conventional medicine. Although not a planned stage in the project’s development, the three worked together to create an early-version of the treatment to try and save Eva’s leg. The result was extremely successful, and Eva is expected to live a normal, happy life as a four-legged dog.
Among the many people Sir Bobby will be meeting on Wednesday will be Eva, and her owner Fiona Kirkland.
Speaking of his visit to Glasgow Sir Bobby says, “I am very proud that Find A Better Way and the University of Glasgow are working together to do so much good for people in so much need. It has been wonderful to meet the scientists making this possible, and of course wonderful to meet Eva who has given us a glimpse of what will be possible in future.”
About Find A Better Way – Find A Better Way was founded by football legend Sir Bobby Charlton in 2011 following a visit to Cambodia where he saw first-hand the devastation caused by landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). The charity funds mine-risk education that trains children to avoid ERW, research projects that develop new medical technology for blast survivors, and research into improved landmine detection devices. The first Sir Bobby Charlton Centre was opened in August 2017 in Amman, Jordan, and helps Syrian and Iraqi refugees recover from both physical and mental trauma. More information can be found here: http://findabetterway.org.uk/