July 17th 2013

IBME MONTHLY SEMINAR – Wednesday July 17th, 5pm in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Bottom-Up Construction of Simple Living Tissues: Direction Matters! – Robert Brown

The presence of two fundamentally distinct approaches to ‘produce’  tissues is becoming evident in the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.   The first, and original approach is to ‘grow‘, or cultivate required tissues through combinations of cell selection, control of cell activity and use of support materials, over extended culture periods.  The second hopes to ‘fabricate‘ simple tissues by assembly from basic components, rather like we make mobile phones or automobiles.  These latter examples of direct, bottom-up tissue fabrication tend to be based on sequences of layers and zones and include forms of 3D ink-jet/cell printing and micro-layer fabrication-assembly.  A working example of this (known as Rapid Tissue Fabrication/RaFT) is based on a process of plastic compression of collagen and layer engineering, invented and developed in UCL.  This general platform is potentially applicable to fabrication of many important tissue types for a host of clinical and drug testing uses.  But at least as important is the manner in which its application has taught (reminded) us of the importance and use of ‘direction’ in biological fabrication.

The lecture will be followed by drinks and an opportunity to network.

Professor Robert Brown directs the UCL Centre for Tissue Regeneration Sciences.  Early research in collagen and angiogenesis (academia and industry) led him to establish the UCL Tissue Repair Centre with Professor Gus McGrouther, feeding basic science to the work of UCL Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.  This produced new, internationally leading models for cell-matrix loading and scarring. Over 10yrs, their purpose evolved from understanding the 3D models to making them into engineered graft tissues.   As UCL’s first professor of tissue engineering (2002) he discovered a new approach to rapid layer-fabrication of living tissues (RaFT: 2005) using collagen plastic compression. This has developed into many forms of machine-fabrication of tissues (cornea, skin, tendon, nerve, urothelium) and commercial, drug testing kits through >210 peer-reviewed publications and patents.  He teaches and promotes interdisciplinary research internationally, with the recent publication of his book in this area: “Extreme Tissue Engineering”.

collagen spiral nerve conduit, post in vivo implantation

Directions to the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre: situated on the third floor of the South Cloisters. The easiest way to reach the lecture theatre is to enter through the main gates on Gower Street, opposite the Cruciform building. Head towards the grand Wilkins Building and turn right. Take the second door which will be in the far right hand corner, turn right and walk through a second set of doors keeping to the right again. There will be a staircase in front of you with signs leading to the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre (two flights).



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