Lindsay McManus, Ireland finalist

Lindsay is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Her research focuses on the use of Raman spectroscopy to monitor various cells types used in bone tissue engineering, including human mesenchymal stem cells as they differentiate into osteoblasts. Raman spectroscopy allows the detection of the mineral and matrix attributes to bone with improved sensitivity and specificity, on which this lecture is based.

Lindsay, 25, graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering with a commendation in Diploma of Industrial Studies from the University of Ulster in 2008. In the same year she began a three year PhD based in the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC) and her research is funded by the Department of Education and Learning, Northern Ireland (DELNI).

Lindsay has worked in collaborative projects with Tyndall National Institute in Cork, with Dr Mircea Modreanu, on which the work presented in this competitionn is based. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys travelling, dining out, cooking, socialising, skiing and reading.

 

Characterisation of the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells using Raman spectroscopy

Human Mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) hold great promise for use in bone tissue engineering due to their multilineage differentiation potential into various cell types including osteoblasts, which ultimately results in the formation of bone tissue, however, it is not fully understood if cultured hMSCs truly represent their in vivo counterparts.

It is well established that histological stains, gene and protein expression analysis can be used to analyse hMSC osteogenic differentiation, although an alternative method is needed to identify the composition and mineral species of the resultant bone formed. It has recently been shown that Raman spectroscopy uses information from vibrational ions within a mineral lattice, i.e. phosphate, to identify the bone mineral deposited. Of particular interest here, is the investigation of Raman spectroscopy to characterise the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs and also to give specific information with regards to the crystallinity and structure of the mineral formed.

 

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