Photo of Dr James Henstock

Dr James Henstock BSc MPhil PhD FHEA

Tenure-Track Fellow Musculoskeletal Biology I

Research

Research Overview

"My research focuses on advanced technologies for treating age-related degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

The core element of my research is bioreactors: cybernetic machines that provide dynamic growth environments for lab-grown cells, bioengineered tissues and human-made organs. Within these bioreactors, living human cells are connected to engineered components such as nutrient exchange plumbing, electrodes and force transducers which recreate the essential functions of the body under controlled experimental conditions, allowing us to grow complex 3-dimensional living tissues.

We can use these bioreactor-grown human tissues for researching the causes of disease, and for developing new drugs and novel therapeutics (directly replacing the need for animals). In the near future we also hope to use them as donor material for surgical repair: thereby regenerating patients using their own cells.

One of the most interesting developments in my recent research has been the adoption of 3D printing, which allows us to take ideas for new bioreactors through a rapid computer-aided design stage and produce working prototypes within a few days. Through using bioengineering, huge advances are being made in our understanding of complex biological problems and their innovative solutions.
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Research Grants

2014 allocation - Wellcome ISSF non clinical fellowships

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

May 2015 - October 2018

Microgravity as a model for accelerated skeletal muscle ageing

UK SPACE AGENCY (UK)

November 2018 - October 2021

Diabetic osteoarthritis : Investigating its causes and interventions using human tissue engineered cartilage

THE DOWAGER COUNTESS ELEANOR PEEL TRUST (UK)

May 2018 - April 2021

Biomedical vacation scholarships

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

June 2017 - August 2017

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine - Mechanotransduction in cellbased therapies

ROYAL SOCIETY (CHARITABLE)

October 2016 - September 2017