I obtained my bachelor degree in Biotechnology from Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), focused on cell and molecular biology. I hold a PhD from the University of Minho (Braga, Portugal). The aim of my thesis was to analyse fatigue of poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering. I used different treatment conditions, including the effect inside of the pores of an extracellular matrix produced in vitro after cell culture. The research combined techniques of cell culture (with chondrocytes and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells), biochemical evaluation of gene expression and extracellular matrix components, development of bioreactor facilities, fabrication of macroporous scaffolds and their physical and mechanical characterization. The results were relevant to conclude that fatigue testing provides information that would otherwise be missed with the usual mechanical testing of scaffolds.

Now, I am working on mechanobiology of the osteoporotic bone, in the frame of the SFI funded project: Mechanobiology based approaches for treatment of osteoporosis. My aim is to develop 3D culture models of osteoporotic bone to test the effect of drugs on the recovery or prevention from the disease. The 3D environment in vitro will be generated with hydrogels loaded with the target drugs, including controlled released, under a collaboration with the group of Dr. Fergal O’Brien from Trinity College of Dublin. After assessing the in vitro models, the same hydrogels will be implanted by injection in rat models.