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Plenary Lecture

Natural polymer-based scaffolds for delivery of therapeutics to promote enhanced bone & cartilage repair

Wednesday (10.05.2017)
08:30 - 09:00

08:30 - 09:00

Tissue engineering typically uses a combination of biomaterial scaffolds, cells and signaling mechanisms (such as growth factors or mechanical stimuli) to restore the function of damaged or degenerated tissues. The research carried out in our laboratory investigates each of these three areas with target applications in bone, cartilage, cardiovascular, corneal, respiratory and neural tissues. A major focus of ongoing research has been to functionalise natural polymer based scaffolds for use as delivery systems for biomolecules with a particular interest in the delivery of nucleic acids (including pDNA, siRNA and microRNA). Our group also uses these scaffolds as advanced 3D pathophysiology in vitro systems for drug development and for studying cellular crosstalk in co-cultures and understanding disease states in cancer, angiogenesis, immunology and infection. In addition, we have a major interest in studying the response of cells to mechanical stimuli (mechanobiology) and using biophysical stimuli (applied by bioreactors or controlled by scaffold stiffness) to regulate stem cell differentiation. A number of technologies from our lab have been patented resulting in the formation of a spin out company, SurgaColl Technologies, which has been successful in translating products from our lab to the clinic. This presentation will provide an overview of ongoing research with a particular focus on layered biomaterials for promoting stable cartilage formation in joint repair and on scaffold-based delivery of therapeutics for enhancing vascularization & bone repair.

Prof. Fergal OBrien
RCSI Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland