Optimisation of Plasma Coatings for Bone-Replacement Scaffolds Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells. MRC iCASE £100k

  • Genever, Paul (Principal investigator)
  • Wood, David (Co-investigator)
  • Gosling, Niki (Co-investigator)
  • Thompson, Jonathan (Co-investigator)

Project: Other projectMiscellaneous project

Project Details


Musculoskeletal disease is a leading cause of morbidity across the world, associated with pain, immobility, deformities and in some cases, death. Disease prevalence increases with age. In the coming years, the incidence of disorders affecting the skeleton will rise, causing huge healthcare and socioeconomic burden. Current treatments are typically restricted to pain management followed by end-stage total joint replacement. Cell-based therapies are an appealing Regenerative Medicine option in orthopaedics, as they may provide long-lasting restoration of skeletal tissue function by exploiting the intrinsic capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to differentiate into bone and cartilage, often in association with a biomimetic support material to enable 3D reconstruction. Whilst recent developments in computational topography and 3D printing make it possible to generate bone components with control over gross architecture, allowing patient-specific design, the determination of the optimal conditions for cellular responses (e.g. attachment, proliferation, differentiation) still relies on inefficient, time-consuming and expensive assays commonly using a ‘One Factor At a Time’ (OFAT) approach. This process does not account for the significant between-factor interactions within the chosen process, nor the influence of these factor variables on the cellular response. The purpose of this study is to implement efficient Design of Experiments (DOE) techniques using multivariate analysis to assess multiple input parameter effects on osteogenic responses of MSCs to bone replacement materials, therefore avoiding confounding results due to between-factor interactions of traditional OFAT approaches. This project includes cross-institutional expertise in materials science (Leeds, DePuy), process engineering, DOE screening (DePuy), MSC biology, cell line development and reporter assays, cell differentiation and cell-biomaterial interactions (York), making it a truly interdisciplinary approach to expedite optimised biomimetic scaffold development for clinical applications. The student will receive extensive expert training in all areas. They will be based in York, but also spend some time at Leeds Dental Institute and DePuy sites in Leeds and Cork. All project-related travel and accommodation will be covered.
Effective start/end date1/10/1530/09/19