The Morgan Crucible prize awarded to the Best Materials Student annually at the Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Awards has been bagged by Racheal Ambury.
She examined how special 'Braces' or 'Scaffolds' could be implemented in the treatment of slipped discs and other chronic debilitating disorders triggering off anguishing back pain in her final year assignment. Her work based on tissue engineering was commended greatly by the panel of judges.
The work of another Ph.D student on Back Pain was the source of insight for Ms.Racheal. Involving an engineering process known as electro spinning, she evolved a series of ''bioresorbable'' polymer scaffolds. These scaffolds when surgically implanted are to hold tissues together hastening cell repair and regeneration. Bioresorbable scaffolding, which in due time dissolves is beneficial to patients in the long run as they hasten the healing process and therefore, cuts time and cost of treatment efficiently.
Chronic back problems are reported to affect two thirds of adults and an estimated loss running into billions of pounds is the result in the UK.
During the course of her work, Ms.Racheal studied the biological and physical impact of using diverse scaffolds.
Her tutors nominated her for her stupendous work in June 2006.In September 2006 she was invited to present her thesis before a panel of eminent judges. She received her award at an impressive ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Not having reached the clinical stage yet Ms. Racheal hopes that she has paved the way for others at University of Manchester to make her vision come to pass.