ESB Mobility Award (Winners – 2013)
Michele Casanova studied Mechanical Engineering at the ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Bösiger and graduated in 2011. During his studies he had the opportunity to be involved in 2 exchange programs. Firstly, he conducted his semester work and bachelor thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Anthony Bull at Imperial College London (IDEA League program), where he researchedglenohumeral displacement with MRI images. Subsequently, during his master, his compulsory internship and semester work took place at Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr. Reza Nezafat. At Harvard he was dedicated to magnetic resonance imaging. His master thesis was focused on trauma-biomechanics under the supervision of Dr. Kai-Uwe Schmitt. His doctoral research focuses on the biomechanics and bioimaging of fracture healing. His PhD will be conducted at both the ETH Zurich and the University of Sydney.
Planned Research Project
Michele will be working for five months at the Orthopedic & Biotechnology Research Unit at the Children Hospital at Wesmead (ORB), Australia. He will deliver a murine model for fracture healing encompassing three different treatments. He will then explore the bone callus in the different treatment groups for assessing the effect of a combined therapy with parathyroid hormone and zoledronic acid. The collaboration between ETHZurich and ORB will allow a holistic approach, where the most traditional measurements (CLSM and IHC) will be done at ORB and the emerging techniques for bone callus characterization (high-resolution MicroCT andRaman spectroscopy) will be applied at the Institute for Biomechanics of ETH Zurich.
I hold a 5 years degree (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain. I am currently a second year PhD student under the supervision of Professor Damien Lacroix at Insigneo (Institute for in silico Medicine) within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, UK. My project aims to develop a computational model able to predict and optimise in vitro cell seeding efficiency under perfusion fluid flow conditions in order to achieve homogeneous density and spatial distribution of cells in 3D scaffolds. As a first step of my PhD, I have studied the effect of the local geometry of rapid prototyping scaffolds on the fluid flow conditions in dynamic cell seeding. The results were presented as an oral presentation at the last ESB congress in Patras (August, 2013). It was shown that the lack of quality and reproducibility of rapid prototyping scaffolds can affect local fluid velocity and therefore the final properties of the regenerated tissue.
Planned Research Project
To further explore cell seeding by perfusion in 3D scaffolds it is also necessary to understand the effect of the scaffold substrate on cell attachment. The Mobility Award for Young Researchers given by the ESB will allow me to better understand this phenomena working closely with worldwide microfluidics experts in LABS (Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics) in Politecnico di Milano (Italy) under the supervision of Professor Grabriele Dubini. This international collaboration will help me to gain experimental skills using cutting edge micro-particle image velocimetry technology and complement my PhD thesis by acquiring a deep understanding of cell- scaffold surface interactions. In addition, this collaboration will give the opportunity to share expertise between Insigneo and LABS enhancing the research outcomes of both groups.