Projects:

Self-inflating Tissue Expanders: As a Problem-solving in Chronís Disease Surgery

Sasza Chyntara Nabilla, Professor J.T. Czernuszka
Chronís disease causes ulceration and inflammation that can affect the bodyís ability to digest and process food. The areas of inflammation are often patchy, with sections of normal gut in between. Resection, a common surgical treatment for Chronís disease, removes the damaged part of the gut and then integrate the ends of the remaining healthy sections. However, inflammation may reoccur and additional operations (small intestine removal) will be necessary, which often leads to Short Bowel Syndrome. The aim is to generate new tissue in ileum by a self-inflating tissue expander. This treatment is expected to maintain the ileum size and reduce the risk of small intestine removal.

Tissue Engineering for Brain Tissue Regeneration

Chenguang (Jerry) Qu, Professor Francis Szele*, Professor J.T. Czernuszka
This project aims to create a tissue engineering scaffold for brain tissue regeneration. To mimic the natural environment for neural stem cells to survive, proliferate and differentiate, biomaterials such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are being used. This device is aimed to treat brain diseases such as Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other neurodegeneration diseases. (*Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics, Univ. of Oxford)

Treating Congenital Talipes Equinovarus by Tissue Expansion

Mu-Huan Lee, Dr. Murtaza Kadhum*, Professor Chris Lavy*,Professor J.T. Czernuszka
Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (clubfoot) is a complex pediatric foot deformity resulting in significant disability and pain if left untreated. The Ponseti method is widely recognized as the gold standard treatment for congenital clubfoot, however its mechanical aspects have not yet been explored. During the multiple manipulation-casting cycles, the mechanical overstretch can trigger extracellular matrix remodeling and tissue growth over time. Inspired by the Ponseti method, the aim of this project is to improve clubfoot treatment by continuous stretching (tissue expansion) using a self-inflating hydrogel. (*Nuffield Dept of Orthopaedics, Oxford)

Tissue Engineering of Heart Valves

Sonia Iftekhar, Colleen Lopez*, Professor C. Carr*, Professor J.T. Czernuszka,
Scaffolds for tissue engineering of heart valves are being fabricated using the novel fabrication routes developed in our laboratory. The scaffolds comprise collagen, and other ECM components, and pores, and these are arranged in a specific and sytematic manner to encourage the differentiation of IPSCs. The performance of the scaffolds is monitored through changes in cell phenotype, tissue regeneration and mechanical property changes. (*Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics, Univ. of Oxford)

Tissue engineering constructs for vascularized bone regeneration

N. Chang, Dr. J.T. Czernuszka, Professor J.T. Triffitt*, Professor U. Opperman*, Dr. J. Dunford, Professor P.G. Robey**
The vascularization of tissue engineering constructs is a hurdle that must be overcome in order for the field of orthopaedic tissue engineering to progress. In order to stimulate vascularization (formation of blood vessels de novo) and angiogenesis (budding of pre-existing blood vessels) into our constructs, a mixture of osteogenic cells as well as unique biomaterials must be utilized, along with the addition of various growth factors and other additives in order to promote vessel formation by both seeded, as well as endogenous endothelial cells. Vessel formation alone is not sufficient, however, because it must be shown that such newly formed blood vessels lead to the formation of proper bone structure and sustained bone growth and turnover in vivo. A systematic study of the various cells, scaffolds, and growth factors necessary to stimulate vascularized bone regeneration in vivo is in progress. (*Botnar Research Lab., Oxford; **NIH Labs Bethseda USA. Funded by NIH-MRC).

Vasculariztion in soft tissue and angiogenesis

A. Yahyaouche, M. Tamaddon, X. Du, Mr. A.J.P. Clover *, Dr. J.T. Czernuszka
Vascularization of 3-D tissues is the key 'next step' in the realisation of the replacement and augmentation of damaged and diseased tissues. This study examines the role of scaffold mesostructure on network capillary formation. Microchannels, pore structure and the incorporation of growth factors all play individual and combined roles in capillary bud formation and growth. (*University College, Cork, RoI)

Tissue Engineering and three-dimensional scaffolds

Professor J.T. Czernuszka
Three dimensional scaffolds are being developed for several major tissue engineering applications. There are extensive collaborations with research groups nationally and internationally and we are using tissue engineering to prepare bone, cartilage, arteries, heart muscles, heart valves and liver.

Properties of biocomposites

Professor J.T. Czernuszka
Composites of natural polymers and sparingly soluble solids based on natural systems are being made and their microstructures and architectures together with their properties are being determined. New models of how this class of materials behave are being formulated.

Musculoskeletal tissue regeneration

Professor J.T. Czernuszka, R. Walton, Professor J.T. Triffitt*, Z. Xia**, Professor A. El Haj***, Dr. S. Cartmell***, S. Halliday, M. Tamaddon
Bone is a highly vasucalarised and is the most transplanted tissue after blood. These sets of projects aim to highlight the issues which need to be addressed to regenerate bone, cartilage tissue and hybrid structures. (*Nuffield Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery; **Swansea Univeristy; ***Keele University)

Design and fabrication of ceramic: biochemical: polymer composites

Professor J.T. Czernuszka, Professor E. Bres*, Professor W. Hosseini**
Additions of bio-chemicals, such as amino acids or lipids, either to the growth medium or onto the surface of polymeric substrates influence strongly the morphology and crystallographic orientation of deposited ceramics. This is being used to create tailored composites and structures. (*University of Lille; **University of Strasbourg)