A proud history
The Laboratories are named after Sir Archibald McIndoe who treated badly burnt WW2 airmen at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. Such was the pioneering surgery and rehabilitation introduced by McIndoe, and his team that the pilots who underwent surgery formed 'The Guinea Pig Club' simply because the techniques were completely novel.
Sir Archibald was supported by his close friends Neville and Elaine Blond who shared his passion for the welfare of airmen. Neville and Elaine established a research laboratory based in the hospital in 1959. Then in 1962 they donated an entire clinical building to establish the world's first Burns Centre at Queen Victoria Hospital.
The legacy of Sir Archibald and Neville and Elaine Blond is continued through the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation in East Grinstead and the Blond McIndoe Laboratories at Manchester.
From bench to bedside
Research at the Blond McIndoe Laboratories is focussed on several areas of regenerative medicine applying the latest technology. In addition to continuing the McIndoe focus on wounds and scars, we are tissue engineering an artificial nerve to bridge gaps in injured nerves by combining biomaterials and stem cells.
Tendon injuries are common and heal with disabling scarring adhesions; we are developing better techniques to control the scar tissue and improve repair. Stem cells isolated from fat are now available for many human treatments.
By training a generation of young plastic surgeons working alongside scientists on research projects, we are in a position to translate discoveries from 'bench to bedside'.
Building on excellence
The University of Manchester is one of the UK's leading universities in tissue injury and repair research.
The University has an impressive record in this field initiated more than 10 years ago by leading and winning a UK national award of £10 million to establish the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering in partnership with Liverpool University. There are now several outstanding centres within the University, drawing on expertise across the Faculties of Medical and Human Sciences and Life Sciences.
Most recently the University has been chosen to host the UK's only national Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Regenerative Medicine. Our CDT will address the acknowledged shortage in skilled non-clinical and clinical scientists equipped to meet these needs for academia and industry, and to ensure the UK's future international leadership in the field.
The Blond McIndoe Laboratories have been recently awarded significant grants from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council to undertake research, which will culminate in the clinical use of biodegradable synthetic materials and stem cells to improve the healing of nerves and tendons in patients.