A major focus of my current research is the development of new acoustic technologies. In particular, I seek to develop ultrasound as a remote tool for assembling cells, activating enzymes and triggering gelation. This includes:
Ultrasound-triggered Enzyme Catalysis and Enzymatic Hydrogelation
This study was led by Dr Valeria Nele during her PhD at Imperial College. We used ultrasound to controllably permeabilize liposomes, releasing calcium ions that could then activate an enzyme (transglutaminase) to catalyze the gelation of fibrinogen (link: Advanced Materials 2020). This is linked to my research activity in biomaterials & bioimaging.
Acoustic Cell Patterning for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering
We used ultrasound standing waves to remotely pattern cells for tissue engineering. This includes the patterning of skeletal myoblasts into collagen-based hydrogels, which was used to engineer muscle tissue with aligned bundles of myotubes and anisotropic tensile properties (link: Advanced Materials 2018). This is linked to my research activity in tissue engineering.
Quantifying Acoustic Cell Patterning using Voronoi Tessellation
We developed a new analytical framework for the quantitative optimization of experimental parameters affecting acoustic cell patterning, such as frequency, amplitude and material viscosity. We also used this method to track the migration kinetics of acoustically-patterned cells (link: Lab on a Chip 2019).