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Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering

Overview | Biomedical News | Staff

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The currently used alternatives such as mechanical devices or artificial prostheses do not repair the tissue or organ function and are not intended to integrate into the host tissue.

Moreover such devices may be subjected to wear upon long term implantation and, as a foreign material, could induce infection or inflammatory response in the host body.

carbon nanotube scaffold
To tissue engineer biomatrix structures an interaction between living cells and biocompatible scaffold material is required. The design, creation and testing of new materials/polymers that support cell adhesion and proliferation requires collaboration between polymer chemists, mechanical engineers and cell biologists.

Once a material is created and characterized physically and chemically, it must be evaluated for cell adherence and tissue reactions both in vitro and in vivo. This evaluation must include cell seeding and adherence studies, biocompatibilty evaluation, and histomorphometric analyses.

Each of these requires facilities for cell isolation, characterization, culture, scaffold characterisation (physical and chemical), and in vivo testing with the associated histopathological evaluation of explanted materials.

Projected Benefits

The projected benefits of a tissue engineering a “living” heart valve will mainly be to younger patients where the implanted valve may “grow” with the patient. If the structure is lined with the patient’s own endothelial cells it will provide a non-thrombogenic surface and routine anti-coagulation will not be necessary.

The benefits associated with a tissue engineered vascular graft with a viable endothelial cell lining will be to patients who do not have alternative vessels for bypass procedures eg diabetics or patients with previously harvested vessels.

Endothelial cells

  • Electrospun-PU

  •    PGA-PLA

  • Pericardium

Endothelial cells after 3 days of in vitro culture viewed under light microscopy at 100 X.
PU nano-fibres showed higher cell coverage than pericardium or PGA/PLA mesh. Cells (stained in blue) that attached onto the materials exhibited typical cobblestone morphology.

Cardiovascular Biomechanics focuses on

  • Hemodynamics and Vascular Mechanics including Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Device Design and Optimization

The computer-aided technology and its application encompasses computer-aided design (CAD), image processing, manufacturing and solid free-form fabrication (SFF) for modeling, designing, simulation and manufacturing of biological tissue and organ substitutes Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) is a tool for analysing wide range of biological system.

In human organs for instance, the interaction of weak viscous fluids like air with lung, process of sound production, viscous fluids such as blood in arteries and heart valves are the best samples.

In cardiovascular prosthesis design, CFD could be applied as multi scale approach in biological systems from bulk flow level in cm scale in order to capture deformations and motions of the prosthesis to blood cell level in μm scale for considering the effect of multiphase properties of blood flow.

Biomechanics and tissue engineering group at Swinburne University has a well established laboratories nationwide for advanced experiential, computational, and manufacturing research in biomechanical field. Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV), Doppler ultrasonograph, high-speed videography, and FEA / CFD commercial analyser packages (ANSYS/CFX/FLUENT/ABAQUS) both in standalone and high performance computing networks are some of the existing facilities in our group.

Study of fluid structure interaction of the tri-leaflets heart valve

For Further Information, please contact the Research Leader