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Business launched by Salford Graduate builds links with China

Friday 8 February 2019

A SALFORD graduate has launched a new business which helps people recover from stroke and is also strengthening ties between the city and China.

Dr Mingxu Sun, from Jinan in China, completed a PhD and postdoctoral work at Salford, developing new technologies to help people regain movement after they have suffered a stroke.

His new company, Bei-Ming, is based in Jinan but works closely with healthcare professionals and engineers in the North West to help patients in China and, longer term, in the UK. Launched using skills developed while at Salford University, the technology uses a technique known as electrical stimulation. This approach uses small electrical pulses to generate contractions in muscles which are weak or paralysed as a result of an injury to the central nervous system, coordinated in such a way as to generate functional movement. 

Dr Sun’s research focused on the development of a control system which could be used to support people with stroke to get their arms moving again. It has the potential to improve both the rehabilitation process and the efficiency with which clinical staff can deliver therapy. The team tested the system at three sites across the UK, including Salford Royal Hospital.

Dr Sun said: “For patients who have suffered stroke, regaining as much movement as possible is their priority and the quicker this can happen the better. I wanted to learn more about Electrical Stimulation techniques and that is where Salford came in. Through my time in the UK I developed my skills and was then able to launch my new company. I’m now keen to give something back to everyone who supported me.”

Dr Sun’s company is boosting research in Salford by sponsoring an i-CASE PhD student who will do further research into the technique and help further develop the technology. And the links go further, with two-way exchanges between Salford and Jinan to share expertise and develop future collaborations

Professors Dave Howard and Laurence Kenney, leads for the Human Movement Technologies research group at the University of Salford, supervised Dr Sun during his time at the University.

Professor Kenney said: “We are very proud of Mingxu for this fantastic achievement in getting his business up and running. It was great to have such an accomplished researcher as part of our team and to see him doing so well now. The benefit it could bring to patients both in China and over here is very satisfying.”

Professor Howard said: “The kind support from Mingxu’s company to fund the new PhD student will help drive further research into this area and consolidate the University of Salford’s growing reputation.”

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361