MEng (HB1V), BEng (HBD8), MEng (HB18), BEng (HBC8)
Fluid mechanics analysis of blood flow in a pump
Research in the biofluids and cell mechanics laboratory focuses on the interactions between physiological fluids and biological tissues. At the macroscopic level, we work on blood circulation in bypass grafts, aortic valve mechanics and stress and strain distributions in the atrial wall. At the microscopic level, we investigate flow and solute transport in extracellular matrices and interactions between flow and endothelial cells, with a particular interest in the endothelial glycocalyx. All these studies aim to reveal fundamental mechanisms involved in vascular and soft tissue function in health and disease.
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 5 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.
Gait Analysis Laboratory
Undergraduate students using the force plate for their 4th year project.
The Kidman (Gait Analysis) lab allows us to analyse motion and forces in people during walking, running and many other activities. These state of the art facilities allow us to assess normal subjects, elite athletes, patients who have had an operation, or individuals with some disability. The wide range of equipment available includes a force plate in the ground, a treadmill that can accommodate wheelchairs and motion analysis facilities, as well as sensors for indicating when muscles are activated and an oxygen consumption monitor. All of these are used for undergraduate, clinical and research projects.
Hip Wear Simulator
Student testing total hip replacement implants using the hip wear simulator
The wear testing lab is able to assess the likely success of developments in total hip replacements. We work with a range of companies, including Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics, Corin, and Finsbury to evaluate designs before they are implanted into patients. Exciting research ideas are tested, including coatings to make the prosthesis last longer. These are evaluated in our hip joint simulator and the biological response to the particles that are created is also studied.
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, 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 electon microscopy 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.
Workshops for Engineering Manufacture
The school has a purpose built, fully equipped teaching workshop where students learn the basics of workshop practice in line with the degree accreditation requirements of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In additional it contains fully automated CAD/CAM controlled milling machines and two rapid prototyping machines for high speed production of complex components. The workshops are also used during students design build and test projects as part of their Engineering Design modules.