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Investigating biological milieu of bone and cartilage healing; towards the development of a novel regenerative therapy S&T13

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2022

Project ID: S&T13

The regeneration of bone and cartilage is a complex process that requires an orchestrated action by multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) and several biological mediators within the healing milieu. The need for effective regenerative therapies is evident, particularly with a high risk of debilitating complications caused by degenerative musculoskeletal conditions. Using MSCs combined with biomaterials is increasingly popular for regenerative therapies. However, due to limited understanding of their interplay role with MSCs, immune and damage-associated mediators, within the healing milieu are not considered yet for regenerative therapy and require further investigation.

This project aims to investigate the unknown effects of bio-factors such as complement and S100 proteins on the healing process via interactions with MSCs. In addition to the biological research, the project will include overlapping innovative research to develop a new multifunctional scaffold supporting bone and cartilage regeneration. Having a supervision team from both departments of Biosciences and Chemistry within the School of Science and Technology (SST) will enrich this research with extensive expertise in the fields of regenerative biology and biomaterials.

This project offers the candidate researcher valuable research experience through extensive training about various biological and chemical laboratory techniques. Testing the biological effects of damage-associated mediators on the functions of bone marrow MSCs will be conducted to understand how MSC reparatory functions can be affected during the early healing stage. The next step will be assessing the molecular mechanisms governing these cells and molecular events. In parallel, the project will include the optimisation of a 3D scaffold able to host bio-factors, protect and release them on demand to support the functions of MSCs. The ultimate goal will be an assessment of the synergistic effect of bio-factors incorporated in the tailor-made scaffold.

The planned research is expected to provide novel findings enriching the scientific knowledge about cellular and molecular interactions during bone and cartilage regeneration. This pioneering study could also introduce a novel biological target to enhance the reparatory functions of MSCs. Findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals serving the fields of regenerative medicines, molecular biology, and biomaterials. Additionally, the project will deliver a prototype of an advanced scaffold ready for testing in clinical settings to treat various tissue degenerative diseases.

School strategic research priority

The supervision team is enthusiastic about employing state-of-the-art analytical and synthetic techniques and developing methods and materials to investigate biological processes and design bio-inspired materials as potential therapeutic tools

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

For guidance and to make an application, please visit our studentship application page. The application deadline is Friday 14 January 2022.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2022 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Download our full applicant guidance notes for more information.

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