Leanne Mullen's Research Page

Current work

My current work focuses on developing a library of different α-helical peptide hydrogels for 3D cell culture and tissue engineering. These scaffolds will be tested for mechanical stability and will be functionalised to enhance cell adhesion and to induce cell migration.

Previous work

PhD Project (Oct 2007-Oct 2010): The Incorporation of Chondrogenic Factors into a Biomimetic Scaffold to Facilitate Tissue Regeneration.

Cambridge Centre of Medical Materials, University of Cambridge, Supervisors: Prof. R.E Cameron and Prof. S.M. Best. EPSRC CASE funded project with Tigenix. Collaborations held in the Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry, and the Orthopaedic Research unit. This work studied the binding and release of IGF-1 and collagen mimetic peptides on collagen-GAG scaffolds. The affect of released IGF-1 on chondrocyte matrix production and cell phenotype was investigated. Collagen-GAG scaffolds were also loaded with IGF-1 and chondrocytes and cultured with human cartilage explants to investigate matrix production using an ex vivo model.

Masters Year in Industry (2006-2007): The Self-assembly of Fmoc-dipeptides to form Hydrogels.

Unilever Corporate Research, Self-assembly group, supervisor Dr. D.J. Adams. Fmoc-dipeptides were synthesised and characterised. Gel formation was triggered using a pH switch and was monitored via CD, FTIR, pH, rheology and fluorimetry to elucidate structure function relationships.

Publications

[1] "Binding and Release Characteristics of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 from a Collagen–Glycosaminoglycan Scaffold." L.M. Mullen, S.M. Best, R.A. Brooks, S. Ghose, J.H. Gwynne, J. Wardale, N. Rushton, R.E. Cameron. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 16, 6 pp1439-1448, 2010

[2] "Relationship between molecular structure, gelation behaviour and gel properties of Fmoc-dipeptides." D. J. Adams, L. M. Mullen, M. Berta, L. Chen and W. J. Frith Soft Matter 6 pp1971-1980, 2010

[3] "A new method for maintaining homogeneity during liquid–hydrogel transitions using low molecular weight hydrogelators." D.J. Adams, M. F. Butler, W. J. Frith, M. Kirkland, L. Mullen and P. Sanderson Soft Matter 5: pp1856-1862, 2009.