Research title: Magnetic Hydrogels for Bone Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering is used to generate lab-based replacements for tissues which have been damaged or need replacement due to disease, following an accident, surgical excision or loss of function. The strategy is to develop 3D structures which mimic the natural tissue in terms of the biological and mechanical properties, this then allows for cell growth, development and differentiation into functional tissue. In this regard, hydrogels have an established track record as 3D models.
Bone tissue engineering is high profile due to the increased need for tissue replacement in trauma, tumour excision, disease (e.g. osteoporosis) or skeletal abnormalities. Engineered 3D materials for bone can make use of different stimuli, to accelerate the repair and regeneration of the tissue. In particular, magnetic stimulation can promote increased bone formation, allowing for a more rapid and better healing process. Static magnetic fields were found to accelerate cell proliferation, migration and the differentiation of osteoblast-like cells, as well as induce osteogenesis in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
In this project, we aim to generate magnetic hydrogels for bone tissue engineering, which in combination with a static magnetic field, will act to accelerate osteogenesis in bone marrow MSCs.
EPSRC funded CDT in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine (LifETIME)
Member of 2021 cohort of lifETIME Centre for Doctoral Training