Dr Jessica Mansfield
I am a research fellow in the Biomedical physics research group and I am currently with Professor Peter Winlove on an Arthritis Research UK funded project
“Microscale mechanics and chemistry of articular cartilage: relationships to in vivo loading and susceptibility to degeneration”
One of the main aims of this work is to better understand the mechanics of cartilage at a microstructural level. To do this a unique combination of multiphoton microscopy and mechanical loading is used. This allows deformations in the collagen matrix, elastin fibres and cells to be tracked in 3D while the sample is loaded. This has enabled us to characterise the level of heterogeneity in the sample and investigate the transmission of strains from the matrix to the chondrocytes (cartilage cells).
To investigate variations in extra cellular matrix composition and to identify potential markers for cellular activity we are using Raman micro-spectrometry.
The composition and structure of articular cartilage deteriorate in osteoarthritis resulting in compromised joint mechanics, which are both painful and debilitating. To better understand these changes at the microstructural level we are investigating osteoarthritic cartilage taken form total knee replacement surgery.
I am also a manager for the CEMPS early career researcher network ECRN. For more information on ECRN activities please visit our intranet page.