Associate Professor / BRC Senior Research Fellow
I lead the Soft Tissue Engineering group, which develops scaffolds and bioreactors for musculoskeletal tissue engineering.
My work to date 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 actively contributing to the translation this new range of materials to the clinics as the engineering lead (see Bioyarn and Biopatch projects).
Besides scaffolds and medical textiles, I also develop 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 BRC Senior Research Fellow.