Bone Substrate Composition Affecting Bone Cell Formation, Function and Bone Turnover

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/prof Damian Myers Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Natalie Sims Personal web page

Summary Bone substrate can affect both bone cell formation and bone cell function. Dysregulation of bone cells and altered turnover of bone are central to pathophysiology of bone. Both physical properties and chemical components may play a role. This project has been designed to assess whether carbonate substitutions and phosphorylation of bone substrate can affect the formation of bone and then the function of these cells.

Project Details

Approach and techniques: 3D bone substrates with different chemical properties will be prepared and then human bone cells, both osteoclasts and osteoblasts, will be incubated in the scaffoldfor a period of 3-4 weeks. Substrates will include special cell culture polystyrene and bone cement that will be prepared with collaborators at the University of Tasmania.

Measures of cell activity will be monitored including proliferation and differentiation and physical features,as well as changes in the 3D bone substrate. These changeswill be monitored using conventional histocytochemistry, RT-PCR and advanced imagingtechniques including X-ray CT and confocalmicroscopy.

This project will involve interaction with the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Sciences(ACROSS) at the University of Tasmania (Prof Brett Paull).

Outcomes and skills: The candidatewill learn tissue culture techniques as well as special techniques for the preparation and culture of differenttypes of bone cells. This student will also become proficient at basic histologyprocedures including histochemistry and immunocytochemistry, quantitative techniques for gene expression (PCR techniques) and microscopy techniques including fluorescence and confocal microscopy.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Western Health

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