Departmental Lecturer/ BRC Senior Research Fellow
My research focuses on two related areas in musculoskeletal tissue engineering: the development of scaffolds and the design of bioreactors.
My previous work involved the design of scaffolds and implants to support the repair of osteochondral defects and tendon tears. To develop these materials, I have been mostly working with electrospinning, a technology which produces nano- and micro-fibres from polymer solutions using electrical charges. These fibres mimic the fibrous structures of biological tissues, making them very useful to support and stimulate the healing process. Electrospun fibres can be assembled into useful scaffolds or implants, such as patches and sutures, using traditional textile methods including twisting, braiding, weaving and multilayering. I am involved as the engineering lead in the Bioyarn project, which aims to further evaluate the potential of electrospun sutures for rotator cuff repair by undertaking a clinical trial.
Besides continuing the development of these scaffolds and medical textiles, my current research also focuses on the design of bioreactors for the engineering of soft tissues in vitro. In particular, I am investigating the potential of bioreactors being supported by advanced robotic systems.
Before this, I graduated as a bioengineer from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, in 2007. I then completed a master by research in biomaterials at the University of Birmingham (2008) and a DPhil in tissue engineering at the Engineering Science Department in Oxford. In 2012, I joined Prof Carr’s group at the Botnar Research Centre as a postdoctorate researcher and then carried on with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Croatia. I returned to the Botnar Research Centre in December 2016 as a Senior Research Fellow.