Elizabeth Holden, one of our PhD students, has won the top prize at the Smith Institute’s TakeAIM 2017 competition, a Europe-wide search for the best mathematical innovations with major social or economic potential. Elizabeth has developed new models and computer-generated predictions to optimise the growth of new tissue in the lab, opening up the possibility of future production of millions of replacement made-to-order organs and tissues. Her models mean that computers could be used to predict how tissue-engineering scaffolds (templates for lab-based tissue growth) need to be designed to ensure an even distribution of nutrients and cells, resulting in viable tissues or organs for implant. This means that scientists could simulate growing organs on a computer, virtually calculating the optimum density of cell coverage, concentration and the flow of nutrient throughout the scaffold before growing them in real life.
The Smith Institute’s TakeAIM competition, sponsored and judged by industry giants such as Dyson, GCHQ and Syngenta, seeks to identify mathematical research with the capacity to drive major advances in medicine, technology and global development. It also aims to encourage students to articulate the potential impact of their work.
“It was a pleasure to supervise Elizabeth’s excellent PHD research at the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology (CMMB) at the University of Nottingham,” said Dr. Reuben O’Dea. “Elizabeth’s theoretical studies, in collaboration with prospective experimental work by tissue engineers, will provide new insight that underpins advances in the exciting field of in vitro tissue engineering.”
Elizabeth’s prize was awarded at the Alan Tayler Day at St Catherine’s College, Oxford on 20 November 2017. The Alan Tayler Day shares the latest insights in the field of applied and industrial mathematics.
Posted on Friday 24th November 2017