An introduction to the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices by our Director, Professor Matteo Santin
The Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices, University of Brighton brings together the work of internationally-recognised research leaders within top-level university facilities.
Our research into regenerative medicine has formed aspects of major international collaborations as well as discrete investigations across cell therapy, tissue engineering and gene therapy.
The centre's work in regenerative medical devices has led to impactful innovation across both implants and extracorporeal devices. We have also hosted public access events to bring regenerative medicine, its issues and its benefits to a wider audience.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
The discipline of Regenerative Medicine is widely defined as the range of therapeutic treatments based on:
- Cell therapy
- Tissue engineering
- Gene therapy
At the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices, University of Brighton, research and development in all these three types of approaches are pursued.
Cell therapy can be pursued by the transplantation of a range of cell types depending on the final clinical application and the use of adult mesenchymal stem cells is one of the most advocated approach. However, despite encouraging results obtained by many clinical research groups worldwide in the treatment of orthopaedic and cardiovascular pathologies, the use of adult stem cells from either bone marrow or adipose tissue has not yet been optimised.
Cell therapy projects at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices include in vitro studies of adult mesenchymal stem cell isolated from human bone marrow and organised as 3D spheroids similar to those present in their natural niche and in proximity of blood vessels. Papers published by Dr Valeria Perugini and Professor Matteo Santin unveil the mechanisms of formation of these spheroids and how they nest on the top of the anastomotic junctions of vessel-like endothelial sprouting.
Through a post-doctoral fellowship supported by the Orthopaedic Research UK, Dr Valeria Perugini, in collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons at the South West London Elective Orthopadic Surgery, St Hellier and Epsom NHS Trust is studying the quality of stem cells from adipose tissue harvested from different anatomical areas with or without use of anaesthetics and isolated either through enzymatic or mechanical methods.
Both these research activities are expected to provide insights in adult stem cell biology as well as to inform their optimal conditions for handling prior to transplantation.
The Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices has also published a range of papers on biomimetic biomaterials for tissue engineering in orthopaedic applications.
Engineered biomimetic scaffolds enhancing cell colonisation and tissue regeneration have been developed through a range of EC and UKRI projects for the regeneration of osteochondral defects by Professor Matteo Santin or for the development of bioartificial liver led by Dr Susan Sandeman.
The contribution of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices to gene therapy has been focussing on the development of gene nano and microcarriers.
The work published by Dr Laila Kudsiova on liposome-based carriers are examples of innovation in this field. The work in this field is complemented by robust studies of genomics performed by Dr Giselda Bucca, Dr Andrew Hesketh and Dr Guan Wang, ranging from studies of tissue cells to sport physiology and in relation to tissue remodelling and repair.
What are Regenerative Medical Devices?
Medical devices include
- extracorporeal devices.
The Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices has brought innovation in all these fields since the early nineties. Examples of projects in these areas include work on wound dressings where scientists, Dr Iain Allen and Dr Dipak Sarker, and podiatrists, Dr Simon Otter and Rachel Forss, worked together to develop devices that could encourage tissue regeneration while enabling the visual and early detection of emerging infections of the wound. The work has also been complemented by experimental studies by Forss and mathematical modelling by Professor Marco Marengo and Dr Manolia Andredaki, studying the penetration of body fluids within the dressing meshes.
The work of Dr Susan Sandeman on activated carbon for the manufacturing of extracorporeal devices for the treatment of the sepsis (CARBALIVE.) has been underpinned by robust studies of biomacromolecule adsorption on the surface of these biomaterials and to their clinical validation.
Throughout the years, Professor Matteo Santin and his collaborators have published papers on the biocompatibility of medical implants ranging from orthopaedic to cardiovascular applications.
We welcome contact from collaborators and associate members. We also offer consultancy and expert partnership as well as opportunities for postgraduate study within the centre.
Professor Matteo Santin
Professor Matteo Santin has been interviewed on RegMedNet where he discusses the development of biomaterials for regenerative medicine.