to learn more about the research of the Clinical Engineering group

Clinical Engineering, UKCTE, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease.
Professor John Hunt is the head of a truly multi-disciplinary research team based at
the University of Liverpool within the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease. The
group operates at a number of levels working on a number of research paradigms
ranging from the development of model systems to understand key mechanisms
associated with material driven cell responses, through to the applied translation of
novel technologies to an array of commercial and clinical applications.
Within the group great emphasis is placed on research programmes related to
biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and the Unit has built up
a substantial world-wide reputation in this area, through an extensive network of
European and international collaborations. All of the staff at the Unit are fully
involved in these programmes, offering expertise ranging from materials engineering
to polymer chemistry, and from biochemistry to cell biology.
In the last few years there has been a significant change in the scope of relevant
application for the Unit’s interest and expertise that is entirely consistent with the
evolution of biomaterials and the medical device industry towards directed interactive
and regenerative approaches often termed tissue engineering and regenerative
medicine; approaches that will be required to find the future healthcare solutions for
our increasingly aged population who will require musculoskeletal therapeutic
interventions to stay healthy through old age.
One of the group’s key missions is to deliver on the promise of the potential of stem cells
in regenerative medicine and healthcare for humans and animals. To do this we must
understand, and exploit how cells interact with any surface that is implanted into the body.
Research at Liverpool is concentrating on identifying the specific material variables that
control cell responses and developing model systems that determine the effects of surface
chemistry, material structure, stiffness and topography and incorporating these variables into
novel material design and production. This research programme has lead to the development
of cost effective substrates that can be used to control cell responses, minimising the need for
the inclusion of biological supplements and providing the next generation of implantable
scaffolds and devices for regenerative medicine.
The research emphasis has evolved from one that concentrated on synthetic
biomaterials and classical medical technology to one in which organic materials and
tissue analogues play a significant role in developing approaches to reconstruction of
the body, ideally leading to repair by regeneration. The Tissue engineering process
is a fundamental platform in the R&D activities of the Unit, but is seen to co-exist
alongside rather than replace biomaterials science in the research. This approach
can be seen through the successful JIF, UK government funded U.K. Biomaterials
and Tissue Engineering Centre (UKBioTEC), a build and equip of a suite of
biomaterials and tissue engineering laboratories. Using this infrastructure the Unit
secured the BBSRC, MRC and EPSRC funded IRC to create the U.K. Centre for
Tissue Engineering (UKCTE) in collaboration with the University of Manchester.
More recently the group has continued to develop and progress the subject with
extensive international collaborations and European funding to go on to tissue
engineer vascular grafts and red blood cells.
The Unit is well placed with facilities and equipment as well as a long and successful
track record in biomaterial science, tissue engineering and human adult stem cell
biology to move forward in this exciting applied inter- and multi-disciplinary subject.
The conference organized by the group will reflect the extensive research portfolio of
the group and encompass an array of cell and tissue engineering topics.
General enquiries may be sent to: [email protected] or [email protected]