Regenerating and modelling tissues

Regenerating and modelling tissues develops new regenerative medicine strategies through biomaterials discovery and development, nanotechnology, and stem cell research.  We conduct basic and applied research programmes focussed at studying and controlling cellular processes for therapeutic benefit through the development of an array of biomaterials with controlled size, shape, topography and chemistry. 

We fabricate new materials that are stimuli responsive, self-assemble into hierarchical structures and which possess functional biointerfaces that influence cell behaviour.  We develop new methods of controlling stem cell phenotype and in directing their differentiation into defined phenotypes.  Using these biomaterials and cells, we can create in vitro models of normal and diseased tissue to aid our understanding of the disease process and the development of novel therapeutics.  In addition, these cells and biomaterials hold potential for clinical translation to restore tissue function which has been lost through damage or disease. 

We have expertise in bioelectronics for modulating and sensing bioelectricity, in the development of non-viral delivery systems for the delivery of DNA, mRNA and proteins to control tissue regeneration, and in the precision assembly of complex cellular 3D microenvironments with optical tweezers and through bioprinting.

Our research within the Division of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies, School of Pharmacy, is transforming basic scientific research at the interface of biomaterials discovery and development, nanotechnology, bioengineering and stem cell research into disruptive technologies for regenerative medicine.  The Division of Cancer and Stem Cells, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences brings together scientists and clinicians with expertise in the biological and translational areas of oncology and stem cells. This includes cell and molecular biology, immunology, clinical cancer medicine and therapeutic cell biology.

Research highlights

We participate on one of the largest funded networks within the UK aimed at developing new biomaterials for regenerative medicine.  We are key partners in the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform acellular hub, led by Imperial College London, and a project funded by the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation and led by Manuel Salmeron Sanchez at Glasgow University, which are both focussed at the translation of biomaterials for clinical therapy.  We are involved in the EPSRC Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery Programme Grant led by Morgan Alexander at Nottingham and further biomaterials development through an EPSRC Programme Grant led by Manuel Salmeron Sanchez in Glasgow. 

We are leading in the emerging field of bioelectronics medicines through an EPSRC Healthcare Technologies award and in a novel non-viral delivery systems for the delivery of DNA, mRNA and proteins to control tissue regeneration which is now being applied to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine through an Innovate UK grant.  With significant funding to develop in vitro models of stem cell derived lung cells to understand the role of infection and the extracellular matrix in fibrosis from the MRC, of normal and breast cancer and of cardiomyocytes for drug toxicity screening both from the NC3Rs, we lead in the use of stem cell technologies for the development of new models of human tissue to understand disease and for the development of novel therapeutics.

With our collaborators in the Centre for Additive Manufacturing in the Faculty of Engineering, we have leading expertise in 3D bioprinting and lead the University's Interdisciplinary Research Cluster in Additive Biofabrication


Our researchers

Search the table below to find out more about our researchers. You are able to filter the table by searching for names, keywords, and techniques.

Full list of our researchers
NameResearch keywordsResearch techniques
Cinzia Allegrucci Cancer, stem cells, epigenetics, disease modelling, genetics iPSC technology, 3D cell culture models, in vitro assays, epigenetic analysis
Kenton Arkill Vascular permeability, endothelial glycocalyx, electron microscopy, correlative microscopy techniques     Functional permeability assays, 3D TEM, correlative microscopy techniques
Jennifer Ashworth Biomaterials, fibrosis, cancer research, 3D in vitro models, imaging tissue 3D cell culture, biomaterials design and fabrication, primary cell/ organoid culture, confocal imaging, micro-CT analysis
Dave Bates Angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, cholangiocarcinoma, renal glomerular physiology, diabetes In vivo imaging, RNA splicing, molecular and cellular biology, drug discovery
Andrew Benest Endothelial cells, lymphatics, angiogenesis, vasculature, transcription factors  Transcriptomic, in vivo modelling, confocal imaging
Lee Buttery 3D cell models, stem cells, osteoblasts, cell-materials interactions, tissue engineering    3D and ES cell culture, osteoblast culture, immunocytochemistry, optical tweezers for cell biology
Beth Coyle Paediatric brain tumours, resistance, metastasis, tumour microenvironment    3D cell culture, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, migration assays
Chris Denning Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), heart/ cardiovascular disease, drug discovery and evaluation, regenerative medicine        Cardiovascular lineage differentiation, CRISPR engineering, phenotype-genotype correlations, automation
James Dixon Gene therapy, gene editing, vaccines, nucleic acid delivery, regenerative medicine Genetic engineering/ editing, nanoformulation, reporter assays, particle characterisation, biomaterials
Mattea Finelli Neurodegenerative diseases, redox mechanisms, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, proteomics, post-translational modifications of proteins      Quantitative/ redox/ PTMs proteomics, cell- and recombinant protein-based assays, stem cell derived disease models, various cell cultures (cortical, cerebellar, hippocampal, DRG, motor neurons)
Amanda Goodwin Fibrosis, development, lung repair In vitro cell stretch (Flexcell), G protein knockdown studies, TMLC assays (TGFbeta signalling assay), ECM crossover studies
Nicholas Hannan Stem cells, disease modelling, respiratory disease, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease         Stem cell differentiation, cell phenotyping, gene editing, CRISPR base editing, organoids
Mohammad Ilyas Colorectal cancer, mutation analysis, liquid biopsy, cancer biomarkers, tissue modelling          Histopathology, PCR, co-culture models, gene cloning
Victoria James Extracellular vesicles, RNA biology, cancer metastasis, epigenetics, inter-cellular communication Nanoparticle biology, RNA biology, cell biology, epigenetics
Simon Johnson Tissue remodelling, proteases, extracellular matrix, rare lung disease, drug repurposing    Protease assays, complex cell culture, molecular pathology
Barrie Kellam Medicinal chemistry, fluorescent ligands, G protein-coupled receptors, drug discovery       Medicinal chemistry, molecular modelling, biospectroscopy, HPLC, fluorescence Imaging
Alvaro Mata Biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative materials, in vitro models, biomineralization       Self-assembly, bioprinting, electron microscopy
Cathy Merry Matrix biology, cancer research, disease modelling, glycobiology   Glycobiology, hydrogel development, stem cell culture and differentiation, matrix biology, in vitro disease models
Abhik Mukherjee Digital/ molecular pathology, gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary cancers, translational therapeutics, inflammatory bowel disease Histopathology and immunohistochemistry, digital pathology and image analyses, molecular pathology, functional biology
Paloma Ordóñez Morán Stem cells, inflammation, differentiation, cancer, tumour heterogeneity 3D organoids, primary mouse and human cell culture, stem cell-based approaches, in vivo assays, gene expression
Frankie Rawson Wireless bioelectronics, bioelectricity, electrochemistry, bionanotechnology, bioelectronic medicine SECM-AFM, voltammtery, amperomerty
Felicity Rose Biointerfaces; biomaterials; peptide materials; hydrogels; computational material science Surface modification and analysis; polymerisation kinetics; light and enzyme responsive materials; material characterisation
Ian Sayers Molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, virus-host interactions, stratified medicine Gene discovery, primary airway cell and tissue models, functional genetics, transcriptomics, patient translational studies
Abdol Shams-Nateri Adult stem cells and cancer, precision oncology/ personalized cancer treatments, intra-tumour heterogeneity, cell signalling and transcription, ubiquitin proteasome system and F-box proteins         3D Organoids and explants models, gene targeting and transgenics, CRISPR-Cas gene editing systems, epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells assays
Amanda Tatler Respiratory disease, tissue remodelling, fibrosis, matrix, 3D models Precision cut tissue slices, in vivo respiratory models, molecular biology, TGFb activation assays, immunohistochemistry/ immunofluorescence
Alex Thompson Blood cancer, stem cell technologies, pre-clinical evaluation, next-generation models, drug discovery       In vivo modelling, iPSC maintenance and differentiation, haematopoiesis, colony-forming assays, gene expression profiling
Lisa White Regenerative medicine, biomaterials, extracellular matrix, hydrogels, microparticles Decellularization, micro x-ray computed tomography, mammalian cell culture, biomaterials characterisation, supercritical CO2
Jing Yang Biomaterials, 3D bioprinting, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, immunomodulatory materials 3D printing, biomaterial preparation, chemical characterisation, mechanical testing, cell culture
Mischa Zelzer Biointerfaces; biomaterials; peptide materials; hydrogels; computational material science Surface modification and analysis; polymerisation kinetics; light and enzyme responsive materials; material characterisation

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