gel structures

Hydrogels are hydrated hydrophilic polymer networks that are either chemically or physically crosslinked. These materials are extremely biocompatible, but one of the greatest challenges in their adoption for medical applications is their poor mechanical properties. We’ve been developing new methods both for measuring their mechanical properties and for analyzing the collected data within poroelastic and poroviscoelastic frameworks. Read more

Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Current treatments for damaged cartilage do not allow for full recovery due to a difference in structure from natural cartilage. We’ve been investigating the process of electrospinning as a suitable manufacturing technique for a biomimetic cartilage scaffold. In parallel, we are investigating the fabrication of biomimetic synthetic cartilage utilising a variety of nano-fabrication techniques and characterisation methods. Read more

Obstetrics: Pregnancy and birth


We have partnered with the Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR) to develop joint projects looking at better understanding the physiology of the placenta. Projects include developing a virtual placenta model to understand the mechanism of oxygen transport from the mother to the fetus. Diseases which develop due to poor formation of the placenta is another focus of our research. Microfluidic technology is being developed to model the invasion of the trophoblast cell (a cell line of the placenta) into the wall of the mother’s uterus. Poor invasion is linked to fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and miscarriages. Read more

Mechanics of Tissues and Biomimetics

biomemlogoNatural materials are formed on different principles than most engineering materials. They are synthesized under gentle conditions, with little energy used in their formation and are always composites. We are working to extract principles in natural materials for use in design of new materials for applications ranging from medicine to architecture. Read more

Indentation and Nanoindentation


Nanoindenters were designed for characterization of stiff, hard and dry materials. We’re not going to let that stop us–ongoing work uses nanoindentation to map out properties of wet bones and soft hydrogels. Emphasis is on advanced material models, such as poroelasticity, for deconvolution of material properties. Read more

Past Projects

  • Cartilage Tissue Engineering
  • Impact Biomechanics

Copyright © 2008, Michelle L. Oyen
Revised: October 6, 2008

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