Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (UG)

Module aims

This course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of normal tissue development and how researchers have used this information to imitate nature in a lab setting, engineering cells and tissues that may be used to model diseases, treat disease, or develop drugs.

Topics that you have the opportunity to discuss include:
Societal challenges for tissue engineering
Cell building blocks
Normal tissue development and regeneration
Adult stem cells -Induced pluripotent stem cells
Challenges in imitating nature
Cell and tissue therapy
Gene therapy
Drug development

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

  • To define cell building blocks, and be able to explain how these building blocks are composed to make cells with different functions
  • To recognise how single amino acid changes can alter protein, and subsequently cell function.
  • To understand why different cell types are required in different tissues.
  • To recall methods for generating induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • To describe stem cell differentiation techniques, and identify how these protocols were developed (imitating nature).
  • To be able to express where cell and tissue therapy are beneficial.
  • To discuss the implications of gene therapy.
  • To describe how tissue engineering can be beneficial in drug development.

Intellectual Skills

Be able to propose tissue engineering solutions for different diseases.

Practical Skills

Be capable of designing experimental protocols, and knowing the plan of action if a blood sample, or tissue biopsy is sent to the lab for a particular disease.

Transferable Skills

Learning: make course notes, research and review literature.


Module syllabus

Cell building blocks: How do cells take a DNA code to make proteins? Amino acid structure and charge. INDELS and SNPS and their impact on protein structures.

Cells: Molecules that organise cell structure. Intermediate filaments, adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix.
Tissue development: Complexity of tissues. Challenges in imitating nature. Hox codes and positional identity.
Stem cells: Adult stem cells and their niche. Embryonic stem cells and development. Reprogramming; Induced pluripotent stem cells and cloning. Ethical and scientific obstacles.
Tissue engineering: Directed differentiation, transdifferentiation, reporters, imaging techniques, 3D printing. In vitro differentiation-examples include neuronal and heart tissue. In vivo organ regeneration. Organs on a chip.
Cell and gene therapies: Fibroblast and bone marrow therapy. Role of the immune system and implications for transplantation. Revertant mosacism, and gene correction.
Drug development. Drug delivery challenges. Routes of drug delivery.  IPSC and drug discovery.


 BE1-HCMP Molecules, cells and processes BE1-HMS1 Medical Science 1 BE2-HMS2 Medical Science 2 

Teaching methods

Students will be taught over one term using a combination of lectures and study groups. Lecture sessions will be made available on Panopto for review and supplemented with technologies as appropriate to promote active engagement during the lecture such as 'learning catalytics'. Study groups will be based on taught content from lectures to reinforce these topics and allow students to test their understanding.

Lectures: 18 hours

Tutorials: 10 hours  


Overall performance against all LOs in the module will be assessed by a 90 minute final exam, 6 questions, 100% weighting