This research project aims to develop a multi-tissue platform that integrates many of the structural tissue components of a musculoskeletal joint; bone, tendon, muscle, cartilage and ligament. A tissue engineering approach will be used to fabricate a system to include these tissues in an anatomically representative manner. Each of the relevant tissues will be developed in situ using a suitable extra-cellular matrix environment, with specific reference to the mechanical properties that support tissue function. This will be achieved through the use of a range of suitable in-house manufacturing processes which will include rapid prototyping (three-dimensional, 3D printing), whereby a suitable design can be manufactured out of biocompatible material. Initially, commercially available cell lines will be used to generate a system that incorporates all the relevant cell types of the particular tissues. Once the model is established, progression towards primary cells will aim to make the model more suitable for translation. Once the tissue platform has been established, experiments will be conducted to investigate the interaction between the tissue types at the tissue level (mechanical properties) and also the biochemical, cellular and molecular levels
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.
-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