Latest news from the group

New project optimising photochemical internalisation to avoid neuronal toxicity

Added 24 April, 2015

Photochemical Internalisation (PCI) is a novel drug delivery technology founded upon Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). In PCI, low dose PDT can selectively rupture endo/lysosomal membranes by light activation of membrane-incorporated photosensitisers, facilitating intracellular drug release. PCI is currently being tested in patients at UCLH with advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) undergoing Bleomycin chemotherapy (more information). For PCI to be developed further, it is essential to understand whether nerve damage is an impending side effect when treating cancers within or adjacent to nervous system tissue. This study aims to investigate the effect of PCI on mammalian peripheral nerve cells using advanced cell culture models, with proven utility for translational PDT research, to identify a PCI treatment approach that minimises nerve toxicity. The project is a collaboration with Dr Josephine Woodhams (UCL Surgery) and Mr Colin Hopper (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) and the Research Assistant working on the project is Caitriona O'Rourke.

New paper: Using adipose-derived stem cells to build artificial nerve tissue

Added 15 November, 2014

Published in Biomaterials, the paper describes how stem cells from adipose tissue can be used to assemble engineered neural tissue (EngNT) for peripheral nerve repair. Organising adipose stem cell-derived Schwann cells within collagen hydrogels generated a robust cellular material. The cells adopted an aligned phenotype in the EngNT, increased their production of a range of molecules associated with regeneration, and supported neuronal growth in vitro and in vivo. The paper is freely available to download.

‘Ask an Expert’ interview

Added 3 November, 2014

James was interviewed by Dr Claire Cox from Axol as part of her 'Ask an Expert' blog series.

Doctoral Training Programme in Medical Device Innovation

Added 23 June, 2014

We are offering a PhD project as part of the DTP in Medical Device Innovation, an exciting new 4 year postgraduate qualification run by the UCL Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBME) that combines an MRes in Medical Technology Entrepreneurship with a three year research project. The research project title is Combining tissue engineering, biomaterials and computational modeling to develop living replacement tissue for repairing the nervous system, funding is available for UK/EU students, and the deadline for applications is 11th July 2014.

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