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CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

Project

Combining different techniques for treating complex wounds

Project

Combining different techniques for treating complex wounds

Project Outline

Manufacturing parts of the body is a challenge for biomedical engineers because tissues can be incredibly complex in properties, movement and function. This is difficult to replicate in an artificial design, so T3mPLATE are combining different techniques and technologies to help the body regenerate severely injured tissue inside the body. Injuries can differ greatly in complexity, sometimes the body is unable to naturally regenerate but a cell response can be engineered when the body doesn’t have the capacity to heal, providing much better outcomes for patients.
Techniques such as using cameras to get a visual idea of structural requirements and using artificial intelligence algorithms to develop personalised 3D printed tissue scaffolds are some examples of technologies being used in the T3mPLATE laboratory. The team are using the 3D printed scaffolds to generate human bone inside models, using cells and bone marrow from a patient, which can be used to treat patients with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). The team can also create tissue models for cancer research to test how particular cells interact with different drug types. This means that instead of researchers growing cells in a petri dish, biomedical engineers can 3D print a more genuine and authentic cell microenvironment that more closely replicates the natural reaction in human tissue.

While the team is predominantly focussed on developing technologies to improve cardiovascular disease treatments, the techniques are applicable to all soft tissues. For example, the team are working with Fiona Woods to find new ways to improve treatment for severe burns. By using the body as a bioreactor, the T3mPLATE team are able to use pioneering new technologies to accelerate the healing process and improve regenerative responses.

Research area
Biomedical engineering

Laboratory
T3mPLATE

Contact
Dr Elena De Juan-Pardo
[email protected]

Project

Design 3D printing software for improved tissue engineering

Project

Design 3D printing software for improved tissue engineering

Project Outline

The T3mPLATE team are developing a microcontroller-based system that will be used to set and measure 3D tissue printing parameters. This involves camera technology known as a machine vision system which will provide real-time monitoring and analysis of the printed tissue fibres. Data collected during this monitoring will be used for further analysis and software model training. Image processing and computer vision algorithms will be developed in order to analyse the images of the tissue fibre to train a machine learning algorithm. Ultimately, this system will be capable of optimising and amending the processes used for bioprinting in real-time.
By designing and printing patient-specific scaffolds with native tissue-like mechanical properties, the T3mPLATE team can help restore function while stimulating the regenerative response of the injured tissue. This research is aimed to help cardiovascular surgeons, who want to acquire the latest advances in 3D printing for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. These scaffolds degrade very slowly in the body, and can help repair diseased arteries and heart valves by allowing regenerated tissue to form and replace the scaffold.

Research area
Biomedical Engineering

Laboratory
T3mPLATE

Contact
Elena de Juan Pardo
[email protected]

Project

Develop advanced 3D printing hardware to create complex structures

Project

Develop advanced 3D printing hardware to create complex structures

Project Outline

One of T3mPLATE’s highest priorities is ensuring this groundbreaking technology can be accessed quickly by the people who need it. One of the projects to accomplish this is the development of a 3D bio-printer that is easy to use and compact enough for use in hospitals and surgical theatres.
An optimised, user-friendly device that can reliably print complex structures is a major project focus for the team. Technicians will have the capacity to elect what type of scaffold/template to print, based on the patients need, which can then be filled with cells to facilitate the regeneration of a natural structure in the injured person. The T3mPLATE team is passionate about bringing the latest technologies of 3D printing to the clinic to provide medical doctors with important new tools to effectively heal their patients.

Research area
Biomedical Engineering

Laboratory
T3mPLATE

Contact
Elena de Juan Pardo
[email protected]

Project

Use melt electrowriting for advanced tissue engineering

Project

Use melt electrowriting for advanced tissue engineering

Project Outline

Melt electrowriting (MEW) is an emerging bioengineering technique that provides unique capabilities to produce highly personalised soft tissue scaffolds. MEW works by bringing together 3D printing technologies and a technique called electrospinning to create tailored scaffold models that can be used to promote healing. Scaffolds created using MEW are customisable in terms of how porous they can be and their movability, important biological features that are not possible using other manufacturing techniques.
The T3mPLATE team aim to use this technology to develop scaffolds for heart valve tissue engineering that resemble the complex mechanical behaviour of human heart valves. Heart valve failure is regarded as one of the most common complications associated with cardiovascular disease, and has led thousands of people to join a waitlist for human organ transplant. However, less than 20% of them have been able to receive a transplant. Such a vast demand drives a need for developing artificial tissue replacements. Although vascular bypass surgery with autografts and allografts are used as the current standard of care to achieve long-term revascularisation in small diameter vessels, they are not without drawbacks. Donor site morbidity, low patency rate, and high risk of immunogenic response limit their benefit. Instead, tissue engineering can be used to develop scaffolds that facilitate cell growth and mimic the human natural tissue characteristics in terms of composition, mechanical properties, biological features, and load bearing. The T3mPLATE team plans to use this technology to create 3D bioprinted scaffolds that can be filled with a patients cells to encourage healing and promote regeneration after major injury.

Research area
Biomedical Engineering

Laboratory
T3mPLATE

Contact
Elena de Juan Pardo
[email protected]