Partnership with industry strengthens materials research and antibacterial innovation

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Professor Roland Kádár showing the new equipment to Wellspect employees.
Adjunct Professor Martin Lovmar using the new equipment.
Professor Roland Kádár showing the new equipment to Wellspect employees.
Wellspect employees visiting Chalmers' Rheology & processing of soft matter group.
Images from Wellspect Healthcare's visit to the Department of Industrial and Materials Science. Photo: Marcus Folino.

The medical technology company Wellspect Healthcare has recently placed new advanced equipment at Chalmers, as part of a long-term partnership between the two organisations. The equipment enhances the materials research at Chalmers as well as the organisations’ collaboration on antibacterial applications.

Following a long-term collaboration with Chalmers, the company Wellspect Healthcare has recently placed a single screw extruder at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science. An extruder is a machine specialised for compounding and manufacturing of polymer-based products, such as plastics. Essentially, the extruder turns raw materials into objects.

The placement of the extruder enhances the research infrastructure for materials development at Chalmers and contributes to research on polymer processing, while also allowing Wellspect to use it with the support of specialised researchers.

“This arrangement is very beneficial for both parties. We get access to the latest equipment without the investment, while they get the expertise we provide as support,” says Roland Kádár, Professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science and leader of the research group Rheology and Processing of Soft Matter.

Accelerating antibacterial innovation

The collaboration between Chalmers and Wellspect has a special focus on antibacterial applications, and the new equipment can contribute to the development of new materials with effective antibacterial properties, suitable for biomedical applications. Wellspect, a medical technology company focusing on continence care, is currently using it to test different types of plastic catheter tubes.

“This cooperation enables us to explore new material compositions that can enhance the clinical reliability of our products as well as their sustainability. Who knows, along the way, we may find materials with better properties that end up being widely used in the medical device industry,” says Martin Lovmar, Principal R&D Scientist at Wellspect Healthcare and Adjunct Professor at Chalmers’ Department of Life Sciences.

Connecting academia and industry

In addition to benefitting the research at Chalmers and serving the needs of Wellspect’s research and development, Roland Kádár emphasises that the collaboration also is a valuable educational resource.

“From an educational perspective, the partnership provides us with the means to prepare future engineers with a skillset beneficial for industry. It also allows PhD and postdoctoral students to interact with direct industrial problems,” he says.

Collaborations between academia and industry can enable both knowledge-sharing and access to additional technology, and both Roland Kádár and Martin Lovmar stress the importance of such cooperations.

“As scientists, it gives us the means to apply some of the knowledge we develop to real-life problems. As educators, it means that our future graduates are prepared to be relevant to make an impact in industry,” says Roland Kádár.

“We all prosper from coming together and joining forces. The best innovations are often born when you bring together people of diverse skills and backgrounds,” concludes Martin Lovmar.

More information

Read more about the research group Rheology and Processing of Soft Matter
Visit Wellspect Healthcare’s website

Roland Kádár
  • Professor, Engineering Materials, Industrial and Materials Science
Martin Lovmar
  • (Adj professor), Systems Biology, Life Sciences


Julia Romell