Development of New Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Bioengineering


This project aims to synthesise polymer-based materials designed according to the requisites in tissue engineering. A major goal will be the elucidation of the physical and chemical properties at the cell-material interface using state of the art materials-based characterisation techniques. The key features of the materials' properties on the influence of cells in 2D and 3D culture will then be assessed.
Newly generated tissue will be studied for its biochemical fingerprint via micro-Raman spectroscopic (RS) analysis, a technique that has been extensively used in the Stevens Group for characterising cells and tissues (Kallepitis, Stevens, et al. Nature Communications, 2017; Bertazzo, Stevens, et al. Nature Materials, 2013; Gentleman, Stevens, et al. Nature Materials, 2009).
Furthermore, the tissue samples will be interfaced with porous silicon nanoneedles, a novel nanomaterial substrate developed in the Stevens Group (Chiappini, Stevens, et al. Nature Materials, 2014), which can provide a spatially-resolved sampling of the protein components present on and within the cells that comprise the tissue.

Within the multidisciplinary labs the PhD student will be presented with opportunities in learning:
Experience in cell culture techniques, including in vitro analyses of the cell-material interface.
Experience in microfabrication techniques, gained from training in the Stevens programme, within a cleanroom setting. This will support the student's efforts in nanoneedle application and designing innovative interfaces with cells.
Experience in live cell Raman spectroscopy, pioneered by the group as a non-destructive characterization technique to monitor bio- and cell-material interfaces. This technique is powerful, label-free and well established.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
1975740 Studentship EP/R512540/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2021 Charlotte Lee-Reeves