Cell & Tissue Engineering Laboratories
Students doing a lab practical as part of the the Tissue Engineering module.
The cell and tissue engineering laboratories provide extensive facilities for tissue engineering, mechanobiology and biomechanics research and teaching. The facilities include five dedicated cell culture laboratories, a molecular biology facility and general purpose laboratories. The labs house machines for mechanical testing of biological tissues or implantable materials as well as equipment for biochemical/cell biology analysis. The associated confocal microscopy unit incorporates two confocal microscopes, enabling advanced 3D imaging of living cells. In addition a series of mechanical test jigs and bioreactors are used to stimulate tissue regeneration.
Material Characterisation (MCA) Laboratories
This facility allows for all trained researchers to analyse their samples through various characterisation techniques. Liquid, thin film, polymers, powders, metal and ceramic composites and much more can have their characteristic properties determined using Spectroscopy, Thermal Analysis, Microscopy, Morphology and Size & Molecular Weight instruments. This facility is located on the second floor of the Engineering building and maintained by Dr Krystelle Mafina.
Mechanical Testing Facilities
Students using mechanical testing equipment.
The School has a variety of mechanical testing equipment used to determine the mechanical properties of different materials and structures ranging from aircraft components to new implant materials or even biological tissues. These testing machines apply forces in compression, tension or torsion and can be used to find out material properties such as ultimate strength and modulus.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of human bone from a patient with osteoporosis.
The NanoVision Centre is a state-of-the-art microscopy unit which brings together the latest microscope techniques for structural, chemical and mechanical analysis at the nanometer scale (1/1000000 mm). The facility contains an impressive range of electron microscopes, scanning probe microscopes and associated analytical equipment for use in the cutting-edge research being conducted by students and staff.
Polymer Chemistry Lab
This laboratory focuses on controlled polymerisation studies and the characterisation of the polymers made using Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC).
FTIR equipment for materials analysis.
We have a variety of sophisticated spectrometers which are used to identify specific compounds and investigate composition of materials prepared as either a liquid, solid, film or powder.
These devices include:
- Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Raman Spectroscopy
- Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (uv-vis NIR).
Thermal Analysis Facility
Differential Scanning Calorimeter.
We have a variety of excellent techniques for analysis the thermal properties of materials such as melting temperature, glass transition temperature, viscosity, thermal expansion and thermo-mechanical properties over a range of temperatures (-150 to 1600C).
The techniques include:
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
- Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)
- Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA)
- Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)