Bioinspired fibres for biomedical applications

General objective: new bioinspired fibers for biomedical applications, collagen-based materials applied to biostructural prosthesis and cell mechanics, and scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Detailed description: we are working in five main research areas regarding biomechanics, biomaterials ant tissue engineering.

  • In collaboration with research groups in different Spanish hospitals, we study the mechanical behavior of tissues like blood vessels, tendons and pericardium. The goal is to improve the analysis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and trauma. We are also carrying out biomechanical studies of the effectiveness of ulna surgery.  Also, we study collagen-based materials to be applied to biostructural prosthesis; in particular we have devoted an important effort to develop biological heart valves with calf pericardium.
  • Following the previous works of our group with natural silk fibers, we are working in the development of new bioinspired fibers for biomedical applications. In collaboration with different groups we pursue to obtain, by means of genetic engineering, proteins with optimized composition for the production of fibers. Simultaneously, we are developing new ways to spin fibers. Our built in-house devices include different apparatus for fibers spinning and characterization of silk solutions properties, and we search to produce high-performance biocompatible fibers.
  • In the field of cell mechanics, we are using different techniques no study the mechanical properties of cells and the mechanics of cell adhesion to different substrates. Our aim is to study the possible use of the mechanical parameters as biomarkers and also to design and develop appropriate substrates to be used in tissue engineering.
  • Our research activities are also devoted to the design and manufacturing of biocompatible materials with controlled topologies (single fibers, arrays and networks) derived from both natural (silkworm silk fibroin) and synthetic materials (PLA-PGA copolymers) for tissue engineering applications. We have developed silk fibroin biomaterials for peripheral nerve regeneration, which are being tested presently in animal models, and our current work is devoted to produce silk fibroin scaffolds for applications in skin regeneration and silk fibroin foams for brain regeneration.
  • Finally, our work in tissue engineering is complemented with the development of biofunctionalization techniques, based on the chemical vapor deposition method.

Laboratories:

-          Experimental and Computational Neurology

Productivity

 Contact: Gustavo V. Guinea

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