The Tissue Engineering and Biomechanics Research group is an interdisciplinary research group particularly focused on the development of 3D culture systems which more closely recapitulate the in vivo environment.
These systems are utilised to understand normal physiology, pathogenesis of disease and support the development of new therapies for various conditions. Combined with utilisation of in vivo models these enable understanding of normal physiology, disease processes and development of new therapies. Furthermore the group is particularly interested in the development of smart biomaterials for application for regenerative and repair strategies for a number of tissue types. Research in the group combines modelling complex physiology including biomechanical, physioxia, extracellular matrix and cellular environments to understand complex cellular and tissue systems.
The group consists of academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from across the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre (BMRC) and the Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI).
The model systems in the group cover a number of tissue systems and biomaterial approaches:
- Model Systems to understand physiology and pathology of musculoskeletal disorders, including Intervertebral disc, Cartilage and Bone: Prof. Le Maitre, and Dr. Aberdein.
- Model Systems to understand physiology and pathology of cardiovascular disorders: Dr. Kelly, Dr. Aberdein, Dr. Stafford and Prof. Le Maitre.
- Model Systems to understand Gastrointestinal physiology and disease: Dr. N Jordan-Mahy, Prof. Le Maitre.
The regenerative applications cover a number of tissue systems and biomaterial approaches:
- Smart biomaterials for regenerative medicine applications in musculoskeletal tissues (bone, cartilage and intervertebral disc): Prof. Le Maitre, Prof. Sammon (MERI) and Prof. Alderson (MERI).
- Smart biomaterials for developing 3D models and regenerative medicine applications for gastrointestinal tissues, liver, bladder, brain and skin: Prof. Le Maitre, Dr. Jordan-Mahy, Dr. Stafford, Dr. Miller, Prof. Clench, Dr D Smith, Prof. Sammon (MERI) and Prof. Alderson (MERI).
- Effects of mechanical load on physiology, pathology and testing of new biomaterial approaches for regeneration: Prof. Le Maitre, Prof. Sammon (MERI), Dr. Aberdein, Prof. Alderson (MERI), Dr. Jordan-Mahy.
The group publishes widely and has been successful in obtaining research funding from a variety of sources including: Horizon 2020 funding, MRC, Versus Arthritis, Animal Free Research UK, Grow Med Tech, and industry funding. The group collaborates widely nationally and internationally with clinicians, patients, researchers from multiple disciplines which supports progression to clinical application.