A single primary trophoblast cell (HLA-G+) was stained while encapsulated within a microfluidic device. Trophoblast cells comprise the outer shell of the blastocyst, a cluster of cells which eventually develops into an embryo. Trophoblasts are the first cells to differentiate in the fertilized egg and play an important role in embryo implantation. Once implanted trophoblasts develop into the placenta, the interface between the fetus and the mother during pregnancy. Here the cell nucleus is stained in blue (DAPI stain) and the cytoskelaton in green (Actin stain).
Recently the group of Assistant Prof. Brendan Harley at the University of Illinois published a paper on collagen biomaterials with collaborative contributions regarding mechanical testing from the Oyenlab. Dr Harley with that paper then went on to win an award in the Young Investigator Category at the 2014 society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Congratulations to Brendan and everyone involved in the publication.
A temporary farewell to longtime member Oliver Armitage who has gone to work in the Biomimetic Materials Laboratory headed by Associate Prof. Francois Barthelat at McGill University. He will be gone for six months while he studies the microstructure of Antler at the Antler-Pedicle-Skin junction.
Annabelle Chan (above) from the biomedical engineering group at the University of Sydney is visiting us here in the Oyenlab for six months. She is working on developing a system to fabricate patient specific implants rapidly. Custom-made implants often result in shorter operative times, faster recoveries and lower rates of infection. Despite these inherent benefits, key remain challenges include commercial viability, delivery time frame and quality assurance of individually fabricated implants.
This project aims to develop a method of forming patient specific implants by shaping sterilised materials using anatomical templates. This fabrication system has been applied on cranioplasty implants and is now focusing on a tissue engineered replacement for the intervertebral disc. Annabelle’s project also aims to generate functional gradients during the shaping process to mimic the mechanical properties of the native intervertebral disc.
While with us in Cambridge she will be making use of our mechanical testing expertise to validate and guide the development of her implants.
Michelle’s featured on the Cambridge Radio 105 Science Show, which can be heard here:
Topics covered include bone, hydrogels, and how engineering has an image problem in the UK.
For the second consecutive year, someone from the OyenLab has won a prize in the annual Cambridge University Engineering Dept. photo competition. Congratulations to Khaow for winning the Head of Dept. prize for his fantastic video. And although not one of the winning images, an entry by Jenna is being used to illustrate the competition on the University of Cambridge main website. Great job both of you!