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Prof Mark Lewis
256 Grays Inn Road
Tel: 020 7915 1199
Fax: 020 7915 1238
  • Honorary Professor
  • Eastman Dental Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Research Summary
The research of my group falls within the remit of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Divison and aims to both understand the underlying biology of regeneration and repair events and to generate approches for potential clinical intervention. We are particularly interested in the regeneration and repair of soft tissues involving the cellular reponse of myoblasts and fibroblasts and their interactions with their environment. This includes other cells (e.g. osteoblasts, keratinocytes), extracellular matrix and, highly topically, bioactive, biodegradable and biocompatible scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.My research now therefore follows the two general themes of REPAIR (fibroblasts) and REGENERATION (skeletal muscle). The REPAIR arm revolves around the function of fibroblasts in both normal and wounded oral mucosa and skin. My group has particularly concentrated on the biological signals that drive the fibroblast to myofibroblast transition; initially this was in 2D systems but we now routinely used 3D organotypic cultures to investigate the role of ECM receptors, proteases, cell interactions (with keratinocytes) and mechanical forces. The translational aspect of the work is encompassed with industrial collaborations regarding autologous cell transplantation of fibroblasts between different body sites. In addition, the 3D systems are proving amenable to manipulation in terms of study of oral cancer; this work is seeing most progress in the creation and validation of novel detection methods for normal and abnormal cells (dielectrophoresis). The REGENERATION arm concentrates on the basic structural and functional biology of skeletal muscle with special emphasis on the craniofacial jaw muscles. Our work has shown that the principle stimuli in this system is mechanical force as we now seek to dissect the molecular pathways that such stimulation activates. One such critical pathway is activation of proteases/integrins. Of great and topical interest are the continued application of cell biology knowledge to the formation of "tissue engineered" constructs and progenitor cells in these systems. Our work here looks to harness the power of precursor cells from skeletal muscle and to ultimately "engineer" a system with muscle correctly integrated with other musculoskeletal systems (bone, tendon, ligament) and the neural system. The translational aspect of this work aims to take the knowledge regarding muscle response to physical forces and apply this to dentofacial and other orthopeadic therapies to improve outcomes in terms of stability and success.
Teaching Summary
?Faculty for the ?Modular training for the Bioprocess Industries (MBI)? training module ? Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing; UCL Biochemical Engineering.
? Project supervision in the Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences: MSc in Tumour Biology, BSc (intercalated) Neurosciences, BSc Biomedical Sciences, BSc (intercalated) Orthopaedic Science, MSc Surgical Science, and MSc in Musculoskeletal Science.
?Faculty for MSc Orthodontics (UCL Eastman Dental Institute)
? Faculty for MClinDent Endodontics (UCL Eastman Dental Institute)
? Faculty for MSc Musculoskeletal Science (UCL Institute of Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences)
? Faculty for Diploma in Clinical Dental Sciences (UCL Eastman Dental Institute)
? Faculty for Diploma/Certificate in Restorative Dental Practice (UCL Eastman Dental Institute)
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