Skeletal muscle undergoes hypertrophy in response to exercise and mechanical loading, however although this response is well studied and established, the molecular sensors and signaling pathways which produce this response are not fully elucidated. This in vitro pre-clinical approach would have many advantages over current methodologies, including reducing the reliance on animal models and also allowing a greater insight into tissue interactions. Furthermore, with the ability to use primary human cells it would also provide greater insight into the possibility of effective translation to human clinical trials.
This research project aims to understand the effects of mechanical and electrical stimulation on skeletal muscle through the use of tissue engineered skeletal muscles. Initially a tissue engineering approach will be used to iterate a bespoke mechanical and electrical stimulation rig to support the long-term stimulation of tissue engineered muscles. Once suitably developed the molecular underpinnings of hypertrophic responses to these stimuli will be examined to gain a better understanding of how skeletal muscle undergoes hypertrophy in response to loading and exercise. In addition to supplying molecular mechanisms to skeletal muscle physiology these advances in understanding will also be applied to tissue engineered skeletal muscles to improve maturity and improve the biological relevance of these tissues.
- Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in sport and exercise science, human physiology, human biology, biochemistry or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the above subjects will be an advantage. - All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements - A relevant master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Human biology, exercise physiology, biochemistry