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Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge

 

Dr. Anke Husmann

Dr. Anke Husmann

Post-Doctoral Research Associate


Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 334560

Research Interests

Investigation into Ice Growth in the Context of Medical Materials

The development of tailored three dimensional environments for in vivo and ex vivo tissue growth forms the basis for many applications in future therapeutic cell biology. For example, heart tissue shows spatial variations of pore orientations along its depth; therefore, heart patches require a similar structure to encourage cell colonisation and enable nutrient transport.

Collagen is a group of protein that occurs naturally in the human body, mainly in its connective tissue. It has been very effectively used as building material for artificially produced interconnected porous networks (scaffolds) in tissue engineering. Collagen demonstrates good cell adhesion and enables cell growth. A number of techniques have been developed to create scaffolds with essentially round pores of specific size distributions as well as specified overall stiffness. For certain applications, however, more specific structures of the collagen scaffolds are needed to encourage cell growth. Natural tissue often shows pores of elongated forms pointing in different directions that need to be mirrored in the artificial structures.

To create scaffolds with desired pore shapes and sizes, symmetry during growth has to be broken in a controlled way. The research group at the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials grows scaffolds from collagen by freezing a suspension of collagen in water in a carefully controlled environment. The water freezes to ice and expels the collagen that consequently forms a scaffold. The ice is then removed by reducing pressure in the growth chamber allowing it to sublime. The structure of the ice determines therefore the structure of the resulting scaffold.

I am interested in looking at ice growth from water in the presence of biological material in the wider context of phase transitions, an area that I have worked in previously.

Topics

  • Micro computed topography.
  • X-ray microcomputed tomography
  • Collagen
  • Freeze-drying as a fabrication method for porous biological scaffolds.
  • Scanning Electron, Confocal, and Atomic Force Microscopy, for topographical characterisation of polymer scaffolds and surfaces.

Key Publications

  • The relationship between time at equilibrium and pore size appeared to be universal regardless of changes to the slurry, to the mould design, to the set freezing protocol or to the mould design. Inset: the slope of the curve was 1/n, where n = 4.8; fit with a linear regression curve ( p < 0.05, R2 = 0.8). (see publication *)
    • K.M. PAWELEC, A. HUSMANN, S.M. BEST and  R.E. CAMERON
      “A design protocol for tailoring ice-templated scaffold structure”, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11(92), 20130958–20130958, (2013)
      doi:10.1002/jps.1039
    • K.M. PAWELEC, A. HUSMANN, S.M. BEST and R.E. CAMERON
      “Understanding anisotropy and architecture in ice-templated biopolymer scaffolds”. Materials Science & Engineering C, 37(C), 141–147, (2014)
      doi:10.1016/j.msec.2014.01.009
    • K.M. PAWELEC, A. HUSMANN, R.E. CAMERON and S.M. BEST
      “Ice-templated structures for biomedical tissue repair: From physics to final scaffolds”. Appl. Phys. Rev. 1, 021301 (2014)
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4871083, (2014).
    • A. HUSMANN, J. B. BETTS, G. S. BOEBINGER, A. MIGLIORI, T. F. ROSENBAUM, and M.-L. SABOUNGI
      “Megagauss sensors”, Nature 417, 421 – 424, (2002)
    • R. XU, A. HUSMANN, T.F. ROSENBAUM, M.-L. SABOUNGI, J.E. ENDERBY, and P.B. LITTLEWOOD
      “Large magnetoresistance in non-magnetic silver chalcogenides”, Nature 390, 57-60, (1997)
    • A. HUSMANN, D.S. JIN, Y.V. ZASTAVKER, T.F. ROSENBAUM, X. YAO and J.M. HONIG
      “Dynamical Signature of the Mott-Hubbard Transition in Ni(S,Se)2”, Science 274, 1874-1876, (1996)