Please note this page relates to the work undertaken whilst a PhD student, for current information, please see:
I am a postgraduate researcher looking into the regeneration of bone using scaffold structures. I completed my undergraduate degree (MEng Mechanical Engineering) within the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick with 1st class honours, and in the course of my studies was introduced to the combined fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. My 3rd year project involved the synthesis of such structures using an adaptive technique, combining 2 well known traditional techniques to improve the porosity of the structures produced. This formed a basis for the studies which I am now undertaking.
During the course of the project, I undertook training within the University of Warwick School of Engineering to use the characterisation facilities that include X-Ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and micro-Computer Tomography. During the course of my studies, I also became proficient in the use of the CAD software, Solidworks, and the programming programme MatLab.
Outside of my studies I am a keen sportsman and play rugby league.
Title: Processing, Characterisation and Clinical Applications of Next Generation Three-Dimensinal Biomaterial Scaffolds for Regeneration of Hard and Soft Tissues
Bone is a complex, hierarchical structure which has the ability to self heal for small defects. Unfortunately, this cannot be translated to larger problems and the bone needs assistance with the reparation procedure. One of the increasingly attractive methods in providing this aid is through the use of 3-dimensionally interconnected porous scaffold structures.
The focus of my research is into the production of such scaffolds. Currently, production of scaffolds yields macroporous (<100μm) or microporous (>50μm) structures. Macroporosity is necessary as cells, nutrients and metabolites are required to infiltrate the structure during bony re-growth and this facilitates the movement of such substances. Interconnectivity of these pores ensures that there are no 'dead zones' where there is no blood supply. Micro- and meso- porosity is equally as important as it provides sites onto which cells can attach, differentiate and proliferate.
The aim of this project is to determine the effect of having both macro- and micro- porosity on the same scaffold, with a particular emphasis on materials previously described as bio-inert. Variations to the microporosity will allow for the optimal size of micropores on the struts of the macropores. Variations to the macroporosity will show the ability of the cells to infiltrate the structure, attach to the struts and differentiate. A wide variety of currently used and potential biomaterials should be used, with consideration to the long term in-vivo effects accounted for. The importance of microporosity within bioresorbable coatings is also to be determined with respect to enhancing cell attachment.
The method initially developed during my undergraduate research has formed a basis for my research and currently possible improvements and areas which require further investigations have been identified. A manufacturing protocol has been developed and will be implemented over the coming months.
Further information can be found here, or by clicking the My Research button.
This research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
J dot Winnett at warwick dot ac dot uk
024 765 75958
The University Of Warwick