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Tissue Mechanics Laboratory

Hierachical analysis and microstructural characterisation for tissue theranostics and regenerative medicine

Projects @ Tissue Mechanics Lab

Design Optimisation of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds using In Vivo Design Criteria
Funded by EPSRC (2016-2018), PI

Tissue engineering, as a fast emerging interdisciplinary area, offers enormous potential to solve such a critical problem in public health and socio-economy. However, there remain critical challenges, including a 'lack of quantitative design optimisation approach for scaffold architecture' and 'how to incorporate in vivo environment and patient-specific factors in scaffold selection'. This project will address the challenges identified above and, more importantly, to make critical steps forward in bridging the gap between the advances in in vitro tissue engineering and its ultimate goal of 'in vivo tissue regeneration' by giving it an additional dimension of vitality, i.e. design optimisation of scaffolds subject to tissue-specificity and patient-specificity. 

Bone Mechanics - From Multiscale Structures to Digital Diagnostics
Funded by EPSRC (2013-2017), Co-I
- In collaboration with Prof. Ke Chen (Liverpool), Dr. Pankaj Pankaj (Edinburgh) and Dr. Junjie Wu (Durham)
Biological tissue is a highly heterogeneous, anisotropic material with structural features at multiple length scales. Tissue functions and behaviours in both healthy and diseased models often largely rely on its microstructure. This project aims to evaluate the tissue quality using microstructural analysis, nonlinear mechanics and homogenisation method and design a computational tool using new microstructural indices for early diagnosis of microstructure-related disease at tissue level.

 

In Vivo Tissue Microenvironment Modelling for Regenerative Medicine
Funded by USYD-IPDF (2011-2013), PI.
- In collaboration with Prof. Jamie Guest (Johns Hopkins) and Prof. Qing Li (U Sydney)
Understanding how tissue works in its microenvironment and how changes in microenvironment regulate cell/tissue activities is the key area and a question yet to be fully answered in regenerative medicine. It is aimed in this project to establish a theoretical framework of mechanical, chemical and biological interactions between cell/tissue and their microenvironment.

 

Microstructural Design of Biodegradable Porous Tissue Scaffold
Funded by ARC (2009-2012)
- In collaboration with Prof. Qing Li (U Sydney, PI) and Prof. J Siepmann (INSERM)
The goal of this research is to utilize topology optimisation as a mathematical means for design and optimization of the tissue scaffolds micro-architectures. To achieve this, a framework of multi-objective topology optimization involving both mechanical and fluidic criteria is developed, where effective stiffness of scaffold is designed to match to host bone tissue while the effective permeability is maximised under prescribed porosity. For regulating bio-fluidic characteristics, a wall shear stress uniformity criterion is also adopted to work with non-gradient level-set method and bi-directional evolutionary structural optimization method for achieving uniform wall shear stress distribution on the scaffold microstructural surfaces and a sustained lifetime of scaffold matrix subject to shear-induced erosion.