Biomaterials and tissue engineering research unit

The long term goal of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Unit is to make discoveries of novel biomaterials and to translate these into clinically relevant therapies for bone and cartilage regeneration.

Millions of people worldwide suffer bone loss due to injury, infection, disease or abnormal skeletal development, and treatment frequently requires regeneration of new bone. Since each patient has only a limited amount of bone available for grafting, the demand for synthetic bone substitutes is high. Those currently available are far from optimal.

The focus of our research is on engineering functional bone tissues by developing engineered synthetic grafts (scaffolds and ceramics) for the healing of traumatized or diseased bone. We are hoping that our developed biomaterials will direct cellular responses to regulate the formation and integration of bone tissue. We are developing nanocomposite technology to further enhance the mechanical integrity/bioactivity of these ceramic scaffolds, demonstrating a several-fold magnitude increase in their compressive strength.

Our Unit has a long and productive record in developing new coatings for orthopaedic devices where we have demonstrated that chemical modification of biomaterials potentiates bone growth in vitro and in vivo.