The group is headed by Dr Athina E Markaki. Particular research interests within the group include fibre network materials, collagen scaffolds, X-ray computed tomography, mechanical characterisation, material–tissue interactions and cell mechanotransduction.
Our research is centred on in vitro material-cell interactions under static and dynamic culture conditions. A major focus of our research is directed towards highly porous “fibre network materials” (bonded assemblies of fibres) and open-cell scaffolds and specifically on the various inter-relationships between network/scaffold architecture, mechanical properties and cell responses (proliferation, differentiation, mineralisation, adhesion). Architecture is most effectively quantified by computed X-ray nanotomography and these data can be used in analytical and numerical models for property prediction. Our cell culture studies involve bovine brain microvascular endothelial cells, human osteoblasts, human peripheral blood monocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells.