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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S003258/1
Title: Engineering an actuated model of living human skin
Principal Investigator: Correia Carreira, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 September 2018 Ends: 30 November 2018 Value (£): 6,664
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Tissue Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Aug 2018 HT Investigator-led Panel Meeting - Aug 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Currently, laboratory models of human skin are static and don't capture the stretching and bending that skin experiences in the real world. The aim of this project is to develop a laboratory model of human skin that incorporates the aspect of movement. This will be achieved by interfacing tissue engineered skin with soft robotic actuators, which function as artificial muscles. To take the first step towards this goal, this travel grant will fund three visits to Prof. Petra Boukamp's laboratory at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf (Germany). The main purpose of the visits is to transfer state-of-the-art techniques in human skin tissue engineering to the UK and to explore the compatibility of soft robotic actuator materials developed in Bristol with Prof. Boukamp's methods. Her methods are unique in that they enable the production of engineered full thickness skin (dermis and epidermis), which has many features that closely resemble "real" skin, and that is suitable for laboratory research over several months as opposed to just a few weeks. The result of setting up this collaboration with Prof. Boukamp will be a much more realistic model of human skin to study, for example, drug delivery and the safety of cosmetics. Furthermore, this research can also lead to advances in tissue engineering of skin grafts for the healthcare sector. Delivering mechanical stimulation to lab-grown skin could improve the quality of skin grafts used to treat burns and wounds, thereby reducing healthcare costs and patient distress due to transplant failure.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk