Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Recognition for tissue engineering success


26 November 2013


Recognition for tissue engineering success


Professor Neil Broom, winner of this year’s MacDiarmid Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand, used skills and techniques honed in metallurgy and applied them to solve complex problems of biological tissue structure.

Professor Broom teaches engineering materials in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering, but his entire research focus is on soft tissue.

He has developed novel experimental approaches that have led to major improvements in bio-prosthetic heart valve function, new insights into both joint tissue structure and osteoarthritis and the structural and mechanical basis of intervertebral disc prolapse.

Professor Broom’s initial training in metallurgy was applied successfully to experimental tissue mechanics and has earned him an international reputation in this field.

“The MacDiarmid medal is a humbling tribute to the work of our very small laboratory,” says Professor Broom who leads the Experimental Tissue Mechanics Laboratory. “I’m hugely gratified to see the work of so many students who work with me, also recognised by this award.”

“We have a small lab within the department, and students come here with little academic preparation for working with soft tissues, and yet we have achieved incredibly well on an international scale,” he says.

He made particular mention of his colleague, Dr Ashvin Thambyah who came to do post-doctoral studies from the National University of Singapore in 2005 and has stayed on to become a senior lecturer in the Department.

“We have worked together on this research and leading the laboratory,” he says.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Nic Smith says, “This is a fantastic achievement for Neil and his team and a great acknowledgement of the wonderful contribution he has made in the area of bio-materials over the course of his distinguished career. As the human relevance of engineering becomes more and more significant Neil’s work is an exemplar.”

Professor Broom’s earlier aortic valve research fundamentally altered the bio-prosthetic valve industry world-wide with most leading manufacturers now employing his low-pressure tissue stabilisation treatment described in his research publications to optimise valve leaflet flexibility and thus enhance durability in vivo.

His key achievements in joint-tissue research include the development of new collagen-based physical models for cartilage to account for the structural weakening occurring in the cartilage matrix arising from both early degeneration and trauma.

Professor Broom has provided rigorous, experimentally-based analyses of both the role of the strain-limiting articular surface, and the biomechanically critical junction region between the compliant cartilage and bone in its physiological state.

He and his team have produced evidence of primary bone formation beneath the still-intact cartilage adjacent to lesion sites thus clarifying the elusive pre-osteoarthritic state.

His research has produced a structural “gold standard” for the international community of ‘tissue engineering’ researchers, challenging them to ‘engineer’ matrices that are biomechanically viable.

Professor Broom’s most recent research, in collaboration with spinal surgeon Dr Peter Robertson, has focussed on the intervertebral disc (IVD). He and his team have developed new structural insights into the micro-anatomy of the disc wall to explain the mechanical basis of annular disruption and prolapse, these being linked to two of the most prevalent and debilitating clinical conditions of the modern world - low back and radicular pain.

He has shown experimentally how nucleus material interacts with the disc wall and endplate, and how combinations of flexion, torsion, and rate of loading can cause nuclear fragments to migrate out through the wall and cause prolapse.

This pioneering research is the first published integration of disc micro-architecture, functional posture, and loading rate, with susceptibility to failure.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news