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Development of ex vivo tissue culture models for developing next-generation biomaterial scaffolds for acellular regenerative medicine.

Project Description

Bone repair and regeneration can be influenced by various guidance cues, including pharmacological cues, hypoxia environment and chemical cues released from scaffolds [1-3]. Translation of these approaches to clinical use can be complex and expensive, largely due to the complex pre-clinical models that are currently used to study bone repair and regeneration. This study will develop a number of ex vivo tissue culture models that may be used to test various guidance cues, and also may be utilised to answer specific questions. In particular, models that can specifically demonstrate intramembranous ossification or endochondral ossification will be developed, as these will enable clinically relevant bone repair/regeneration strategies to be tested. These models will be extremely relevant to research in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biomaterials research.

The project offers multi-disciplinary training, and the labs involved have extensive experience with developing and characterising synthetic scaffolds for guiding tissue repair and for tissue engineering, and for utilizing various ex vivo culture systems as model systems to test the effects of various pharmacological compounds on skeletal development. The successful candidate would receive training in the characterisation of biomaterial scaffolds and substrates, cell culture and cell-material interactions, chick embryo cultures and tissue dissection, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry, imaging (light and fluorescence microscopy) and microcomputed tomography (uCT). Much of the work in our institution is very translational, so the student would also gain exposure to the considerations required to translate aspects of research towards potential clinical use.

[1] V.E. Santo et al., Tissue Engineering B, 19 (2014) 308-326
[2] V. Mourino et al. J. R. Soc. Interface, 9 (2012) 401–419
[3] J. Drager et al. Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine, 17 (2015) 1-16

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of MEDICAL SCIENCES. Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.


Funding Notes

The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT. Applicants should also be aware that Additional Research Costs of £6,000 per annum are required (above tuition fees and living expenses) for consumables.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.2 Honours degree may be considered provided they have a Merit/Commendation/Distinction at Masters level.

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