My research interests are in biomaterials, with particular experience in materials for the repair or replacement of bone and cartilage. My research focuses on three specific aspects. These are, investigation of cell-material surface interactions down to the molecular level, application of developing methodologies for the assessment of biocompatibility and the development of novel biomaterials for application in the areas indicated above. These areas have natural overlaps and as such provide a cohesive research structure.
Current research can be grouped under cell-material surface interactions, biocompatibility assessment or the development of novel materials or structures for the repair or replacement of tissues such… read more
FELFEL R, POOCZA L, GIMENO FABRA M, MILDE T, HILDEBRAND G, AHMED I, SCOTCHFORD C, SOTTILE V, GRANT DM and LIEFEITH K, 2016. In vitro degradation and mechanical properties of PLA-PCL copolymer unit cell scaffolds generated by two-photon polymerization (Article) Biomedical Materials (Bristol). 11, 1
Current research can be grouped under cell-material surface interactions, biocompatibility assessment or the development of novel materials or structures for the repair or replacement of tissues such as cartilage and bone.
Cell-material surface interactions focuses on the relationship between material surface properties, protein adsorption and cell adhesion and function. There are three strands of current research under this grouping.
The first area draws on the thin film coating expertise in the School of M3, to develop biologically functionalised coatings for specific implant applications. This initiative has attracted industrial sponsorship.
The second area has developed with colleagues in the School of Biomedical Sciences to exploit proteomic methodologies to investigate early molecular level responses of cells to well characterisied material surfaces. The aims of this work are twofold. First to elucidate novel molecular events occurring in cells contacting material surfaces. Second to evaluate the diagnostic/screening potential of such methods in application to specific material/coating selection. This work has also attracted industrial funding. The initial work has identified the association of proteins not previously associated with cell adhesion events with such processes, opening the door to exciting research opportunities.
The third area of activity is a collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Mathematics, working on the development of new models of active cell motion on biomaterial surfaces. This is an exciting cross-disciplinary venture.
My research strategy is to link the more fundamental studies described above to research that is closer to clinical application. The best example of such a programme is the development of a novel degradable composite material for bone repair. This has involved significant biocompatibility assessment input at the centre of the programme for over 10 years.
More recent established material development areas include the development of novel scaffolds for tissue engineering applications, bioactive coatings for bone tissue integration and nanocomposites for bone repair applications.
Research topics that are currently either at the stage of conception of initiation include:
The progression of the novel degradable composite for cranio-maxillofacial bone repair indicated under'current reasearch' from laboratory to clinic.
The application of cutting edge electron microscopy preparation methods for high resolution investigation of intact cell-material surface interfaces.
The development of nanocomposite biomaterials and assessment of nanoparticulate biocompatibility
Elaboration of research themes arising from the use of proteomic methodologies for the assessment of cell-material surface interactions
Investigation of the potential for material surface property modification to promote the desired differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells for tissue repair