Nervous System Tissue Engineering

Together with Dr James Phillips (UCL Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering), we have set up a range of multidisciplinary projects to explore regeneration in peripheral nerve injury. Currently, nerve tissue engineering is primarily an experimental field and, despite decades of research, there is a log-jam in the field which is inhibiting clinical translation of research solutions for peripheral nerve repair. Our aim is to combine state-of-the-art experimental tools with mathematical modelling to inform the design of repair constructs. This research is particularly exciting as it combines cell biology and biomaterials research with mathematical modelling to make progress in the field of tissue engineering. We are particularly interested in the role of both chemical (e.g. oxygen, growth factors) and mechanical cues (e.g. material stiffness) in influencing both neurite and vascular growth during peripheral nerve repair.

In May 2017, we launched the UCL Centre for Nerve Engineering. Click the link to find out more!

Our researchers working in this area include Rachel Coy, Eleanor Doman, Celine Kayal, Simao Laranjeira and Kulraj Singh Bhangra.

For more information about the approach we are taking, please download our recent paper in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

We are very grateful for funding from the EPSRC and British Heart Foundation.

Figure References:

- Georgiou, M., Bunting, S. C., Davies, H. A., Loughlin, A. J., Golding, J. P., & Phillips, J. B. (2013). Engineered neural tissue for peripheral nerve repair. Biomaterials, 34(30), 7335-7343.

- Sanen, K., Paesen, R., Luyck, S., Phillips, J., Lambrichts, I., Martens, W., & Ameloot, M. (2016). Label-free mapping of microstructural organisation in self-aligning cellular collagen hydrogels using image correlation spectroscopy. Acta Biomaterialia, 30, 258-264.

- Coy, R. H., Evans, O. R., Phillips, J. B., & Shipley, R. J. (2016). An integrated theoretical‐experimental approach to accelerate translational tissue engineering. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.