Human tissue scaffolds
UK healthcare providers are facing the challenge of maintaining a high quality of life for an increasingly ageing population whilst coping with inevitable ageing and disease.
The global shortage of transplantable tissue is especially a pressing issue since people are dying whilst on waiting lists. Tissue engineering using tissue scaffolds offers a novel route for repairing damaged or diseased tissues.
The scaffolds are support structures made from biocompatible materials acting as a temporary housing for culturing cells. Over time, the cell-seeded scaffold becomes a fully functional block of tissue which can replace a patient's damaged tissue. Using a patient's own cells reduces the need for immunosuppressant drugs.
NPL is working in collaboration with Brighton University and Queen Mary College (University of London) on a project to establish standards and test methods for the characterisation of tissue scaffolds. The availability of approved standards for tissue scaffolds mean that they will no longer be the tools of the experts but a usable, mass market treatment.
Find out more about NPL's research in Advanced Materials