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Dr. Max Babenko

Information about Dr. Max Babenko at the University of Bradford.

Photo of Dr. Max Babenko


I have graduated from the University of Bradford in 2011 with BEng degree in Civil and Structural Engineering. In the summer of 2011, I have embarked on a summer internship at the Centre for Polymer Micro and Nano Technology. Here, I have conducted rigorous high shear strain rate rheometry experiments on a variety of polymers. My responsibilities also extended to the manufacturing of light and energy collection devices using conventional injection moulding, in addition to contributing to an industrial collaboration project with Network Medical Products Ltd. Following my summer internship, I was offered a fully funded PhD to investigate heat transfer at the cavity-polymer interface in microinjection moulding. Whilst undertaking my PhD studies I was contributing to teaching as demonstrator and teaching assistant, and I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) since 2018. In the autumn of 2015, after graduating with my PhD, I undertook a Postdoctoral research project collaborating with a leading chemical company (SABIC) to assess and benchmark medical grade polymer materials for their applicability in the manufacturing of polymer microneedles. The study included customised off-line and online measurement techniques for characterisation of material behaviour at each stage of manufacturing process. Following that, I delved into a research project focused on predicting and controlling crystal initiation, growth, and orientation during the processing of semi-crystalline polymers. The objective was to gain insights that would empower the design of crystallinity and properties of polymer products, thereby enhancing their performance and functionality. Currently, I am part of a consortium comprising partners from academia, industry, NGOs, and charitable bodies, engaged in a pioneering project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Our collective effort is directed towards developing innovative microneedle technology for pain-free and discreet contraception delivery in low-income countries. This groundbreaking initiative involves intensive pre-clinical research aimed at creating microneedle patches that can be self-administered in seconds, offering contraceptive protection for up to six months. Our aspiration is to revolutionise contraception access for vulnerable women worldwide, thereby empowering them with greater control over their reproductive health and choices. Other Responsibilities:Overseeing the management of MNT facilities, ensuring their continuous operation, safety, and suitability for intended purposes.Engaging directly with diverse stakeholders, including academic collaborators at national and international levels, industrial partners, University of Bradford academic and administrative personnel, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students.Taking charge of health and safety compliance for the Polymer MNT laboratories, encompassing room and equipment H&S risk assessments.Preparing laboratories for significant external events such as open days, AVDs, industrial visits, and promotional activities, including targeted student marketing initiatives and the promotion of Bradford Manufacturing Week.Coordinating service and maintenance appointments for cutting-edge processing equipment and overseeing service contractors during their on-site visits, including the Battenfeld Micropower, Hitachi SEM, Sensofar S-Neox microscope, and Biomomentum Mach 1.Collaborating with industrial partners to define project scopes and deliver R&D initiatives, with a focus on troubleshooting and effective stakeholder communication to ensure the highest quality outcomes.Administrating of laboratory equipment management system, Clustermarket, utilised across the Polymer IRC labs and encompassing 70 independent facilities. This involves creating entries for newly acquired equipment and managing the expanding user base.


Proficient in the design, fabrication, and testing of microneedle-based drug delivery systems. Experienced in microneedle applicator development and testing for enhanced usability and efficacy. Extensive experience in manufacturing microneedles using micro-injection moulding techniques. Skilled in conducting Moldflow simulations to optimise microneedle fabrication processes and ensure quality control. Conducted ex vivo studies using skin substitutes to evaluate the penetration and drug release profiles of microneedle arrays. Experienced in in vivo microneedles embedding under the skin for controlled drug delivery and monitoring. Familiar with a wide range of polymers used in microneedle fabrication, including biodegradable and biocompatible materials. Published research in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to microneedle fabrication, testing, and applications. Demonstrated ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to advance research in microneedle technology. Skilled in moulding of micro and nano-scale components using various technologies. Other Research Interests: Ultrasound micro-injection moulding for precise and controlled fabrication of microstructures. Proficient in high-speed digital and thermal imaging techniques for real-time process monitoring and analysis. Experienced in surface characterisation techniques including SEM, WLI (white light interferometry), laser scanning confocal microscopy, and Micro CT. Familiar with 3D printing technologies and 3D modelling for rapid prototyping and custom device fabrication.