Seminar series on Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine at the Department of Biomaterials.
Speaker: Professor Serena M. Best Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, Cambridge, UK
With the move from tissue replacement to cell-mediated tissue reconstruction and regeneration, there is increasing need for the design of appropriate biomaterial “scaffolds”. In order for cells to be able to migrate through a scaffold, it must contain holes of the appropriate dimensions. Our material of choice is collagen, a highly versatile and bioactive natural macromolecule. To optimise the repair process using collagen scaffolds, it is important to understand the influences on cell behaviour of pore structure and orientation and, also, the interconnections between them. Using freeze drying, it is possible to design the architecture of scaffolds through control of ice crystal formation and growth. This has allowed us to create a range of structures to mimic natural tissue and encourage cell attachment and infiltration. Careful choice of scaffold surface biochemistry also allows us to balance scaffold “activity” and mechanical performance. This talk will cover the recent work that has been undertaken to optimise the structure and properties of scaffolds for a range of clinical applications in soft tissue repair.