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Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge


Miss Sheen Gurrib

Miss Sheen Gurrib

PhD Student

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 334560


Sheen Gurrib completed her undergraduate degree in Materials Science at Oxford University. During her studies, she specialised in Biomaterials and Tissue expansion. Her Master's project focused on the development and application of hydrogels to be used as tissue expanders for the skin. After completion of her four years at Oxford, she joined the CCMM group at Cambridge University for her PhD. Her current project is focused on investigating the effect of vertebral end plate damage on spinal degeneration and chronic low back pain.

Sheen's current research involves collecting sheep spines for dissection and isolation of the vertebral end plates, the thin cartilage layer in between the intervertebral disc and the vertebral bone. The animal samples are being used to perfect protocols and techniques to be then applied to human samples. The novel aspect of this project is the use of human samples obtained from patients undergoing spinal surgeries, such that their recovery progress can be monitored and correlated to laboratory findings.

The aim of the project is to characterise the architectural structure and mechanical properties of the end plates to understand its role in degenerative conditions of the spine. This will help improve diagnosis as well as treatment of low back pain.