Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
- Senior Lecturer
- Biomaterials & Tissue Eng
- Eastman Dental Institute
- Faculty of Medical Sciences
James is currently involved in a range of research projects including collaborations with scientists, clinicians and engineers working in academia and industry. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Biomaterials Applications and is part of the Executive Committee of the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society.
Nervous system tissue engineering
The Phillips lab uses tissue engineering principles to model and to repair the nervous system.
The group specialises in building neural tissues by growing nervous system cells in a 3-dimensional environment. These engineered neural tissues can be adapted using specific cells, extracellular matrix, chemical signals and biomechanical cues in order to provide laboratory models for neuroscience research, or implantable grafts for use in regenerative medicine.
1. Nervous system models
A range of models have been developed and can be tailored to mimic specific aspects of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The culture models tend to be made using 3D hydrogels, providing a more realistic spatial environment for neurons and glial cells than traditional 2D culture systems. They allow continuous observation and controlled manipulation, thereby facilitating analysis of cellular interactions. They complement in vivo models which generally allow only snapshot views and offer limited scope for controlling complex variables.
2. Nervous system repair
Repair devices are designed to encourage growth of host neurons through an area of damage. They don’t contain any neurons, but often include aligned materials and glial cells in order to guide and support regenerating neurons. They need to be made from materials and cells suitable for safe therapeutic use, and as well as promoting neuronal growth they must restore the biomechanical functionality of the tissue.
For more information please take a look at our publications or visit www.jamesphillips.org
MSc Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering
MSc Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine
MSc Musculoskeletal Science
Other teaching activities include contributions to Open University modules in Health Sciences, external examination of PhD and MPhil candidates in various UK universities, and Visiting Lecturer roles at the University of Bedfordshire and the UCL Department of Surgery.