A major function of the lymphatic vasculature is maintaining fluid homeostasis by returning interstitial fluid from all of the body’s tissues to the venous system. Lymphatic pumping is achieved by a combination of external compression and intrinsic contractions coupled with one-way valves. Intrinsic contractions arise from specialised muscle lining the vessel walls. Lymphatic vessels must […]
Contraction of lymphatic muscle cells is crucial for propelling lymph through the body. These cells are a hybrid of cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscle types. Experimental evidence on whole cannulated vessels shows that the acto-myosin complex in these individual cells facilitates phasic contractions which in produce most of the pumping action. The smooth muscle components […]
Around 1 in 5 breast cancer patients will develop lymphoedema in the arm after surgery involving removal of lymph nodes. Lymphoedema is a chronic, incurable condition which causes localised swelling of tissue as a result of abnormal lymphatic drainage. It is a debilitating condition that can cause significant physiological and psychological trauma. The device under […]
The current standard of care for lymphoedema is complex decongestive therapy (CDT), which is a combination of compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), exercise, and skin care. Using our validated computational models of lymphatic pumping, we discovered that an external pressure below the pressure inside of the lymph vessel (or a positive transmural pressure) maximises […]
Immune cell migration dynamics in response to chemokine concentration gradients All inflammatory processes require precise positioning and migration of immune cells to fight pathogens efficiently and be resolved once the pathogen threat is eliminated. Immune cells constantly follow trails of attractant molecules called chemokines to exchange information about antigens and trigger appropriate reactions. Little is […]
The lymphatic system maintains fluid balance throughout the body and is a crucial component of the immune system. Lymph nodes are stationed along the lymphatic network, sample the lymph and allow initiation of the adaptive immune response if antigen is detected. By using computer models we can see beyond experiments and understand the complex interactions […]
An aortic dissection is a serious condition caused by a tear between the innermost and middle layers of the aorta. As blood surges through the tear, it causes the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (dissect). Complicated aortic dissections include those that rupture or have malperfusion (abnormal perfusion of blood) to other […]
Stem cells have shown promise for treatment of multiple diseases. Unfortunately, the techniques used to inject cells apply large forces to the cells that rupture their membranes, killing the cells. We are developing a combination of suspension media and injection devices that minimise cell death.