Institut des
NanoSciences de Paris
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Accueil > Evénements > Séminaires > Archives 2011 > Regenerating hard/soft
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Séminaire général

Regenerating hard/soft tissue interfaces

Dr. Liam M. Grover, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham

The interfaces between tissues are often highly complex and the preservation of their structure is important to maintaining effective function. Frequently, tissues that interface exhibit markedly different mechanical properties. This is particularly apparent in the joints, where tissues interface exhibiting elastic moduli that differ by orders of magnitude. In these cases, there is highly preserved matrix heterogeneity that distributes stress across the interface and prevents failure. Ligaments, for example, may insert into bone through an enthesis which consists of four distinct yet continuous zones (Figure 1) : subchondral bone, mineralised fibrocartilage, non-mineralised fibrocartilage and ligament midsubstance and it is a significant challenge to recapitulate these structures in vitro. In an attempt to produce a graduated structure, we have investigated how to induce mineralisation within hydrogel based materials 1.) using an encapsulated cell population ; 2.) using a sparingly soluble calcium phosphate salt attached to one extreme of the material and 3.) by adding nanocrystalline mineral to the gel matrix. Using a combination of these methods, we have been able to develop a ‘bone to bone’ ligament replacement with a graduated interface (Figure 2). This talk will cover how the addition of mineral, either through in situ precipitation or by direct supplementation, may influence the mechanical properties exhibited by soft solids and how this may be of use in regenerative medicine.