Bioengineered skin for prosthetics interface

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering

Abstract

Significant effort is being devoted worldwide on prosthetics to compensate for/restore the loss of sensory function in amputees. The major limitation of current technology is the lack of a reliable interface between the patient and prosthesis. To address this, the successful integration of advanced prosthetics with the amputee's nervous system is necessary, but how to achieve this remains a challenge. There is huge scope for engineering research to overcome this bottleneck and to establish linkage between the patient and the device. In this regard, electronic skin based monitoring of motor activity, combined with the bioengineering of artificial skin with patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC), is a promising solution. As the cell functions are known to be highly influenced by the micro and nanoscale topography and the mechanical and electrical behaviour of the bio platform, the question arises if micro and nanoscale engineering, together with the use of biomaterials, could be employed to regenerate engineered skin by differentiating IPSC. This project will investigate this aspect with a larger goal of developing an effective interface for electronic skin with amputees.

A fabricated, bendable chitosan membrane, with flexibility equivalent to the natural tissue, will be used for adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of IPSC. The skin tissue specific lineage specification during the differentiation process will be achieved by modulating and optimising the flexibility, as well as micro-nanoscale topography, of the functionalised chitosan membrane. The engineered skin from patient specific IPSC will be evaluated for its suitability to bridge the gap between man and machine. It could also serve further purposes within healthcare, such as a substitute for skin grafts.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509668/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1947002 Studentship EP/N509668/1 01/10/2017 01/04/2021 Clara Smith