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My PhD research

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PolyHIPE microspheres


Double emusion


Microfluidic T-junction


Microsphere injection study


Microsphere clumping


Cell ingrowth


CAM model



Overview

My own research is the manufacture and implantation of highly porous microspheres. These act as both cell delivery vehicles and scaffolds for bone and neural tissue engineering.  

The Science

PolyHIPE particles can be loaded with stem cells and are suitable for injection into the body. Once implanted the particles prevent the cells from migrating away from the wound site, a common problem when stem cells which are injected as a cell only injection. Cells can fully penetrate the particles which leads to small areas of hypoxic environment within the particles that cause cells to release bio-molecules which increase local vascularisation.The cells would begin to form native tissue by differentiating via natural cues from the surrounding tissue and bio-molecules released from the particles. As the tissue grows the particles would degrade away harmlessly to be replaced by healthy vascularised tissue.


The potential applications

These particles could be used to help repair bone or neuronal damage. Voids left by cancer within bones could be treated with the system to allow the bone to regenerate and strengthen. Strokes cause areas of dead cells within the brain which don’t repair naturally. Implanting particles with neuronal stem cells could allow stroke victims to regain lost abilities and partially recover from the damage caused by the stroke.