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Ultrasound stimulation of mesenchymal stem cells for tissue repair and regeneration.

Project Description

Low-intensity ultrasound (LIUS) can be used as a non-invasive biomechanical therapy to aid and promote tissue repair and regeneration. In particular, LIUS therapy is considered an effective therapeutic application to stimulate bone fracture healing; however the underlying biological and physical mechanisms are not well understood. This PhD project will investigate the biological effects of ultrasound on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which are key players in hard tissue homeostasis and regeneration. MSC isolated from different sources such as dental pulp, bone marrow, adipose tissue and umbilical cord will be characterised under different culture conditions. LIUS will be delivered by a calibrated therapeutic device and various cellular responses will be determined using specific molecular markers and cell-based bioassays. This multidisciplinary study will focus on the modulation of multilineage differentiation by LIUS as well as changes in the MSC secretome (e.g. secreted growth, immunomodulatory, angiogenic and neurotrophic factors) which could be important for MSC-mediated paracrine regulation of tissue regeneration following injury. The research is expected to contribute to the development of new non-invasive ultrasound therapies in MSC-based tissue engineering and regeneration.

Funding Notes

We have a thriving international Researcher community and encourage applications from students of any nationality able to fund their own studies (Government scholarship), or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Islamic Development Bank International PhD Scholarships, China Scholarship Council).

At present, we would only consider applications from prospective students with:
- a good biomedical degree, with interests in any of the areas outlined above,
- good command of the English language as outlined in the postgraduate prospectus,
- a source of funding to cover tuition fees and bench fees


Scheven BA, Man J, Millard JL, Cooper PR, Lea SC, Walmsley AD, Smith AJ (2009) VEGF and odontoblast-like cells: Stimulation by low frequency ultrasound. Arch Oral Biol 54: 185–191.
Man J, Shelton RM, Cooper PR, Scheven BA (2012) Low-intensity low-frequency ultrasound promotes proliferation and differentiation of odontoblast-like cells. J Endod 38: 608-613.
Davies OG, Cooper PR, Shelton RM, Smith AJ, Scheven BA (2015) A comparison of the in vitro mineralisation and dentinogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue, bone marrow and dental pulp. J Bone Miner Metab. 33:371-382.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 15.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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