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Scaffolds and cells – making replacement body parts in the lab

Scaffolds and cells - making replacement body parts in the lab. James Smith Richard Oreffo, University of Southampton

The team

From the University of Southampton:

  • Professor Richard OC Oreffo
  • Dr Jonathan Dawson
  • Professor Ian Sinclair
  • Dr Nicholas D Evans

The science behind the exhibit

Medical advances have led to a welcome increase in life expectancy but with this comes problems associated with tissue loss and a need for replacement tissues.

We are using stem cells isolated from adult tissues such as the bone marrow, and engineered materials as scaffolds, to develop pieces of bone and cartilage tissue in the lab. We are also interested in finding ways of coaxing the body to regenerate itself with drugs and chemicals and to harness the repair capacity of our bodies. Our ultimate aim is to deliver stem cells together with the right scaffolds and factors to generate and repair damaged or diseased tissue for patient use.

About the exhibit

  • Stem Cells Cascade Pinball – a fully functioning pinball machine to illustrate stem cells
  • Take a 3D journey through bone and skin
  • Engineer-it-yourself cartilage implant made by casting 'stem cells' in a moulded gel
  • A range of hands-on biomaterial prostheses (hip implants, artificial joints)
  • A range of 3D printed bone and cartilage constructs, interactive computer displays and large (dual 47" monitor) 3D images (with glasses)

Images

These images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.

Scaffolds and cells – making replacement body parts in the lab

Copyright: Stuart Lanham and Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton False colour section through male sheep proximal femur showing alteration of bone density by diet 

Copyright: Stuart Lanham and  Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton

Copyright: Jon Dawson and Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton Gels made from clay particles can be used to replace lost bone by creating a way to inject and hold stem cells at a site of injury 

Copyright: Jon Dawson and Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton

Copyright: James Smith and Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton Human bone cells growing on human trabecular bone 

Copyright: James Smith and Richard Oreffo, Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton