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Research project

Elucidating and modulating macrophage and stem cell responses to bioactive nanoclays for bone regeneration

Project overview

This project has two mutually supportive aims:
1) to clarify the early immune and stem cell interactions underlying nanoclay gel enhancements to BMP2 bone induction
2) to explore the potential of drug delivery strategies to further modulate this response for improved bone tissue regeneration efficacy.

Our overall hypothesis is that modulating the inflammatory profile of macrophages, from M1 to M2, via a drug delivery system, can enhance BMP2-nanoclay induced bone regeneration.

In addressing this aim and testing this hypothesis we have four instrumental objectives:
1) Elucidate immune cell responses to nanoclay gels during BMP2-clay bone induction (as effected by nanoclay concentration).
2) Develop a drug delivery strategy for macrophage polarisation in the presence of nanoclay, to examine how active modulation of macrophage number and phenotype influences subsequent BMP2-clay bone induction efficacy.
3) Examine the mediating role of macrophage-stem cell cross-talk during the process of bone induction and characterise the kinetics of stem cell recruitment.
4) Evaluate optimised macrophage modulation strategy for bone tissue regeneration in a cranial defect model.


Lead researcher

Professor Jon Dawson

Prof Fellow of Regenerative Medicine
Other researchers

Dr Yanghee Kim

Research Fellow

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Yanghee Kim,
Y. Tabata,
Dhiraj Kumar,
Conrado Aparicio,
& Isha Mutreja
, 2022 , Bioengineering , 9 (7)
Type: review
Daheui Choi,
Jiwoong Heo,
Juan Aviles Milan,
Jinkee Hong,
& Yanghee Kim
, 2021 , Materials Science and Engineering C , 118
Type: article
Babatunde O. Okesola,
Shilei Ni,
Burak Derkus,
Carles C. Galeano,
Abshar Hasan,
Yuanhao Wu,
Jopeth Ramis,
Lee Buttery,
Jonathan I. Dawson,
Matteo D'Este,
David Eglin,
Hongchen Sun,
& Alvaro Mata
, 2020 , Advanced Functional Materials , 30 (14) , 1--13
Type: article