Introduction to CUBE
There are underpinning scientific challenges facing biomanufacturing scale-up. CUBE combines manufacturing research principles with bioengineering activities to define and tackle the underpinning barriers. Diverse activities across the world are creating new materials, structures and fabrication techniques to deliver revolutionary healthcare techniques of the future, such as tissue engineering, and CUBE aims to create a smoother route to delivering the benefits by connecting the work on materials, metrology and manufacturing.
Bioengineering materials are designed to have specific chemical and physical properties at nano, micro and macro length scales. This drives successful integration with the body and survival over the lifetime of the product. A move to a highly regulated manufacturing approach can be made smoother by considering the influences that the new material will experience and how to design resilience into the product.
Metrology techniques are needed because mechanical and chemical influences due to material sourcing, fabrication, packaging, storage and distribution can degrade the specialised properties of these products. Quality control is essential throughout manufacturing and affordable non-destructive metrology techniques are needed to integrate into the production and distribution of these materials.
Manufacturing challenges can often be overlooked in the progression of Technology Readiness Levels. However, new material technologies often need new or modified production technologies and can face unique packaging, storage and distribution challenges. There are many manufacturing challenges that must be considered to make sure a technology reaches the end-user without compromising the intended function.