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Thursday 12 Jan 2017NEST Seminar: Collagen Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Repair

Prof. Serena Best - University of Cambridge

HAR/170 (3D Visualisation Suite)  12:30-13:30

 Collagen Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Repair

Professor Serena M. Best

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

27 Charles Babbage Road

Cambridge, CB3 0FS


Significant advances have been made in the field of biomedical materials over the past 20 years. With the move from tissue repair- to cell-mediated tissue reconstruction and regeneration, there is an increasing need for appropriate support-materials (or scaffolds) to deliver these cells to sites of disease or injury.  Biomaterial scaffolds support tissue regeneration by speeding up integration with body tissue and they have a key role in repair and regeneration at various sites within the human body. Of key interest is the use of materials that are found naturally in the body. This talk will highlight our current understanding of a number of variables in the design of three dimensional porous architectures to ensure optimised cell infiltration and attachment. Our material of choice is collagen, which is a highly versatile and bioactive natural macromolecule. The importance of pore structure and morphology have begun to be understood for soft tissue applications, but the nature of the pore interconnections is not always considered in sufficient detail. Understanding of the physics behind the production of lyophilised porous collagen scaffolds through ice crystal formation has allowed the design of processing conditions for a range of pore morphologies to mimic natural tissue and encourage cell migration. Scaffold composition is another critical consideration and there is a fine balance required between scaffold “activity” and mechanical performance. This talk will cover the recent work that has been undertaken to optimise the structure and properties of scaffolds for a range of clinical applications in soft tissue repair.


Prof Serena Best:

Serena Best is a Professor of Materials Science and Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge. She co-directs the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials. She has published around 300 journal papers, books and book chapters and holds 9 patents in the fields of biomaterials and skeletal repair.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and also the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. She is an Editor of the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine and has been invited to act as a specialist on both national and international assessment panels. 


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