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Hard tissue Biology and Repair
This group is investigating how bone cell growth and gene function can be modulated. The group's in vitro studies of bone remodelling have been concerned primarily with the responses of alveolar bone cells to physical and biomaterial stimuli - of clear relevance to potential clinical translation. Group members have been the first to develop and characterisetemperature-sensitive SV40 primary bone cells and via the establishment of long-term cultures to demonstrate their having having the phenotypic characteristics of bone. Utilising this model ultrasound was found to influence bone cell growth and gene function such that modulating ultrasound may have the potential to enhance bone repair and regeneration in vivo. The group established that the regeneration of bone cells could be significantly increased by high-energy implantation of implant materials such as titanium with calcium ions, this influencing bone cell function via modulation of cyclin/cyclin kinase mediated cell cycle progression. Changes in the surface topography of this implant material also influence bone cell genes. We have shown that a major cellular mechanism by which bone re-modelling can occur is mediated by potent soluble mediators such as bone morphogenetic proteins [BMP].
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