The Application of Materials With and Without Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine


The Application of Materials With and Without Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 14:30 to 15:30


Professor John Hunt
Nottingham Trent University

The clinical delivery of stem cells as reparative medical therapies continues to be one of the unmet goals for stem research and the fact that the area of regenerative medicine itself exists is evidence of the increasing activity in this area. However the widespread and universal take up of scientific knowledge into clinic continues to be thwarted by a lack of reproducibility, resulting in the therapeutic beneficial outcome essentially being unknown or not guaranteed, which itself doesn’t substantiate or validate the critical knowledge base to provide the necessary push through the cost effectiveness and ethical issues. There are still many fundamental scientific questions that require to be addressed which can be addressed without implantation into humans; the provision and use of stem cells in in vitro models as genotypically profiled, phenotypically homogeneous, defined populations of cells are a valuable intermediate step. These cells can be utilised for high throughput molecule screening, pharmacological toxicity testing or can create a 3D tissue analogue of a specific type of tissue suitable for in vitro tests that are an alternative to animal testing. Defining cell substrates at the nanoscale to provide a cell with key triggers to direct its phenotype and function without exogenous factors provides a key tool and breakthrough to direct stem cells towards a predictable and reproducible cell type for in vitro models and further known reproducible clinical outcomes.


Professor John A. Hunt, BSc, PhD, DSc. FRSC
John’s research focuses on developing breakthrough therapies, devices and technology to repair, replace, augment and in the future regenerate diseased, infected and damaged tissues in humans and other mammals using material interventions. Understanding the generic science to deliver interventional medical therapies requiring the use of a material (living cells are also considered to be a material). These will come from an in depth generic first principles approach to understanding and directing the patient’s cellular and molecular mechanisms and responses related to the clinical outcome and efficacy of medical devices, biocompatibility, inflammation and stem cell biology. Tissue engineering processes are developed and applied, addressing the key areas of patient treatments requiring intervention and material implantation; the materials of choice being researched today also include cells and within that, expertise and intellectual property has been created relating to primary cell sourcing, controlling cell function and phenotype through defining and controlling extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis, inflammation and tissue regeneration. From a strong long lived generic research platform, specific applications and knowledge has been applied to and continue to be developed for musculoskeletal tissues specifically cartilage and bone, visceral and vascular tissues. Professor Hunt’s research has been funded by the European Commission, BBSRC, MRC and EPSRC as well as by Industry. Ph.D in 1992 and D.Sc. in 2006.
He is a full time Professor and research Theme Leader at Nottingham Trent University, leading the theme Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials. He is also the academic lead for NTU’s Medical Technology Innovation Facility. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chairperson of the committee for the specialist interest group Analytical Biosciences. He is an honorary clinical academic consultant at the Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS trust hospital. He is a Fellow of the International College of Fellows for Biomaterials Science and Engineering and elected committee member and the treasurer of the college. He is on the International editorial board member for the journal Biomaterials and the Biomaterials and Nanotechnology section editor in the International journal of Artificial Organs.
Professor John A. Hunt
Theme Lead for Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials
Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
NG11 8NS