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

 

Balance Of Trade: NZ Posts Trade Deficit In October On Falling Dairy Exports

New Zealand’s posted its largest monthly trade deficit for October in six years, while narrowing the shortfall from September, led by a fall in dairy exports to China while all main imports into the country rose. More>>

ALSO:

Gigatown Winner: Plenty Of Positives For Dunedin

Although the city has taken the Gigatown title, along with new ultrafast 1Gbps broadband and funding for $700,000 worth of UFB-related initiatives across the community, Mr Cull says Dunedin has gained so much more through its involvement. More>>

ALSO:

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news