Centre for Tissue Regeneration Science

Centre for Tissue Regeneration Science


Director: Professor Robert Brown

The Centre addresses the responses of skeletal tissues to biological and biomechanical environment in terms of modelling, repair, neoplasia, replacement and regeneration. An understanding of these mechanisms is fundamental to the development of biological implants for use in reconstruction of the musculo-skeletal system.

Bone Cell Biology

Development of a novel activator for use in improvement of bone cements compatible with bone formation and with potential to act as delivery systems for anti-microbials and osteogenic factors. These materials are used extensively in joint replacement surgery. The improvement of performance has significant implications for reducing the need for revision surgery with associated socio-economic benefits. This work is in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Centre in Biomedical materials (IRC) and the University of Madrid.

Cartilage tissue engineering

Damage to cartilage leads to early arthritis in joints because unlike bone, cartilage cannot repair itself. There is considerable interest in repairing damaged cartilage with tissue taken from an individual joint, grown in the laboratory and re-implanted back into the joint. Research using the latest NASA designed technology for growing cartilage cells in three dimensional scaffold systems.

Tendon and ligament

Significant advances in the understanding of the pathobiology of tendon degeneration in relation to exercise and ageing of specific tendons. This work has identified a naturally occurring model of tendon degeneration in the racehorse. Interactions between mechanical environment and tenocyte metabolism in relation to control of molecular composition of matrix are being applied to tissue engineering of tendon contructs.

Bone Repair

Studies on the modulation of indirect bone repair using short term specific mechanical stimulation have demonstrated the ability to influence the cascade of connective tissue differentiation seen in bone repair. This work has implications both in the clinical management of fractures and also in understanding the mechanical cues that can be used to induce specific connective tissue matrices in in vivo tissue engineered constructs. This work is also related to the development of new implant designs to achieve a long term osseomechanical integration of orthopaedic implants used in joint replacement surgery.

Intervertebral disc replacement

The techniques developed to apply mechanical and biological stimuli to connective tissue constructs in vitro and in vivo are being applied to tissues of the intervertebral disc. Tissue engineered constructs for partial replacement of the disc are being developed.

Skeletal Neoplasia

Skeletal neoplasia will focus on the diagnosis and prognosis of skeletal tumours.

Tissue repair and engineering of tendon, cartilage and bone. Skeletal tissue pathobiology

The Institute has made significant contributions to the development of autologous chondrocyte implantation, from laboratory based fundamental research to the clinical use of this technique for regeneration of the articular surfaces of synovial joints. In addition there has bee a long standing interest in the mechanobiology of tendons and ligaments in relation to both the pathogenesis of injury and the development of biological replacement or augmentation implants, using tissue culture techniques and both experimental and naturally occurring animal modelling.

Page last modified on 19 jun 12 10:30