Dr Gwendolen Reilly

DPhil, BSc
Senior Lecturer in Bioengineering

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5986
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5943
Email: g.reilly@sheffield.ac.uk

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, INSIGNEO Institute for In Silico Medicine,  Pam Liversidge Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Gwendolen Reilly has been a member of academic staff since 2004. She received her DPhil in Biology at the University of York, specializing in bone biomechanics. She has previously undertaken post-doctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in cell biomechanics, biomaterials and bone structure respectively. Subsequently, she undertook a position as Research Assistant Professor in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois, Chicago specializing in tissue engineering. Gwen’s current research combines her expertise in biomechanics, biomaterials and orthopaedics.

Research interests

Our research has applications in orthopaedic and dental medicine, where clinicians are looking for improved methods to repair skeletal tissues; bone, tendon and cartilage.

Bone tissue engineering

The aim of bone tissue engineering is to create bone matrix in the laboratory for clinical implantation and as an experimental tool. Our research in this area focuses on two main themes; the effects of mechanical stimulation on differentiation and matrix formation by bone cells and the interactions between precursor bone cells and their biomaterial substrate. Mechanical stimuli examined include dynamic compression, stretch and fluid flow induced shear stresses using a range of bioreactors (including a collaboration with ElectroForce systems group).

Musculoskeletal cell mechanobiology

We are interested in how skeletal cells respond to extrinsic and intrinsic stimuli by organizing the proteins and mineral they secrete in a way which enhances the strength of the matrix. This information can then be used to manipulate tissue engineered structures in order to induce structurally sound matrix formation. We specifically focus on mechanosensation mechanisms found on the cell membrane; the cell’s proteoglycan (sugar-based) coat and a small organelle that protrudes from the cell membrane – the primary cilia.

Orthopaedic biomaterials

We investigate the interactions between musculoskeletal cells and orthopaedic and dental materials that are implanted into bone. Materials investigated include porous metals, polymer scaffolds and peptide coated surfaces (in collaboration with Orla Protein Technologies). This research encompasses study of the mechanical properties of biomaterial scaffolds, cell-material interactions, cell mechanics and cell signalling.

Key projects

  • Biocompatibility and corrosion resistance of metallic materials coated with sol-gel hybrid films, collaboration with Professor Celia Malfatti (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) Brazil, funded by the ‘Ciência sem Fronteiras - Reino Unido, Brazilian Scientific Mobility Programme’).
  • Novel engineering approaches to study mechanosensing by the glycocalyx, collaboration with Damien Lacroix (Mechanical Engineering), part of the University of Sheffield Mechanosensors in Health and disease Network headed by Paul Evans (Cardiovascular Sciences).
  • Engineering stem cell fate: exploring additive manufacturing to enable control of stem cell differentiation, collaboration with Dr Fred Claeyssens, (Materials Science and Engineering).
  • Development of Graded Porous Implants for enhanced Ingrowth and Stability, collaboration with Dr Russell Goodall, Materials Science and Engineering, funded by Orthopaedic Research UK.
  • Combined biomolecular and physical stimuli to enhance in vitro tissue growth for integrated in vitro testing product, collaboration with Orla Protein Technologies, funded by METRC.
  • A finite element (FE) model to simulate mechanisms of injury in child abuse, collaboration with Amaka Offiah, (Academic Unit of Child Health) Matt Carre and Xinshan Li, (Mechanical Engineering), funded by Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

Professional activities and recognition

  • President of the European Society of Biomechanics: www.esbiomech.org
  • Special visiting researcher (PVE): UFRGS, Brazil
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Alice L Jee Young Investigator Award at the 37th International Sun Valley Workshop on Skeletal Biology
  • Editorial boards of: European Cells and Materials, PLoS ONE, Heliyon and Frontiers in Bioengineering
  • Panel member for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships H2020 programme, Life sciences
  • Member of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, Orthopaedic Research Society, Tissue and Cell Engineering Society and Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society

Research students

  • Gifty Tetteh (In vitro bone models for biomaterials testing)
  • Wing Kiu Yeung (Surface coatings for orthopaedic implants)
  • Tom Patterson (PolyHIPE particles for bone tissue engineering).
  • Robert Owen (In vitro bone models for osteoporosis research).
  • Zena Wally (Additive manufacturing of porous metals for dental implants).
  • Dirar Qassim (Serum free culture of progenitor cells for craniofacial repair).
  • Stefania Marcotti (Mechanobiology of the glycocalyx of bone cells).
  • Hossein Bahmaee (Microfluidics for co-culture of bone cells).
  • Liam Boyle (Mechanobiology of the primary cilia of bone cells).
  • Hannah Murray (A* collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore on angiogenesis of tissue engineered scaffolds).
  • Leonardo Antonini (sandwich PhD student from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil).

Research group Alumni

  • Anuphan Sittichokechaiwut, now at Naresuan University, Thailand
  • David Clarke, now at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Jenna Stevens-Smith, now at Imperial College London
  • Nick Emerson, now at Sheffield Hallam University
  • Louise Way, now at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
  • Jennifer Edwards, now at University of Leeds
  • Miriam Merino, now at UAEM, Mexico
  • Robin Delaine-Smith, now at Queen Mary University of London
  • Priya Viswanathan, now at Kings College London
  • Mohsen Shaeri, now at CN-Bioinnovations, Oxford
  • Ivana Barbaric, now at Department of Biomedical Science
  • William van Grunsven, now at University of Southampton
  • Sasima Puwunan, now at Narusan University Thailand

Research centres

Selected recent publications

  • 2015: X. Li M. Viceconti, M.C. Cohen, G.C. Reilly, M.J. Carré, A.C. Offiah. Developing CT based computational models of pediatric femurs. Journal of Biomechanics. 48: 2034-2040.
  • 2015: P. Viswanathan, M.G Ondeck, S. Chirasatitsin, K. Ngamkham, G.C Reilly, A.J. Engler, G. Battaglia. 3D surface topology guides stem cell adhesion and differentiation. Biomaterials 52: 140-147.
  • 2015: J.H. Edwards and G.C. Reilly. Vibration stimuli and the differentiation of musculoskeletal progenitor cells - review of results in vitro and in vivo. World Journal of Stem Cells. 7: 568 -582.
  • 2014: W. van Grunsven, E. Hernandez-Nava, G.C. Reilly, R. Goodall. Fabrication and mechanical characterisation of titanium lattices with graded porosity. Metals 4: 401-409.
  • 2014: G. Tetteh, A.S. Khan, R.M. Delaine-Smith, G.C. Reilly, I.U. Rehman. Electrospun polyurethane/hydroxyapatite bioactive scaffolds for bone tissue engineering: the role of solvent and hydroxyapatite particles. Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. 39: 95-110.
  • 2014: R.M. Delaine-Smith, N.H. Green, S.J. Matcher, S. MacNeil, G.C. Reilly, Monitoring fibrous scaffold guidance of three-dimensional collagen organisation using minimally-invasive second harmonic generation. PLOS ONE. 9: e8961.
  • 2014: R. M. Delaine-Smith, A. Sittichokechaiwut, G. C. Reilly. Primary cilia respond to fluid shear stress and mediate flow-induced calcium deposition in osteoblasts. FASEB Journal. 28: 430-439.
  • 2013: N. J. Emerson, A. C. Offiah, G. C. Reilly, M. J. Carré. Patient-Specific Finite Element Modelling and Validation of Porcine Femora in Torsion. Strain. 49:212-220.
  • 2013: W. K Yeung, G. C. Reilly, A. Matthews, A. Yerokhin. In vitro biological response of plasma electrolytically oxidised and plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings on Ti-6Al-4V alloy. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research B. 101:939-949.
  • 2012: R. M. Delaine-Smith, S. MacNeil G.C. Reilly. Matrix production and collagen structure are enhanced in two types of osteogenic progenitor cells by a simple fluid shear stress stimulus. eCells and Materials. 24: 162-174.
  • 2012: K.K. Mallick, J.Winnett, W. van Grunsven, J. Lapworth, G.C. Reilly. 3-dimensional porous bioscaffolds fabricated by adaptive foam reticulation and freeze casting techniques for bone tissue regeneration. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A. 100A:2948–2959.
  • 2010: R.M.H. Rumney, A. Sunters, G.C. Reilly, and A. Gartland. Application of multiple forms of mechanical loading to human osteoblasts reveals increased ATP release in response to fluid flow in 3D cultures and differential regulation of immediate early genes. Journal of Biomechanics. 45: 549–554.
  • 2010: H. Morris, C. Reed, A. Sittichokechaiwut, J. Haycock, G.C. Reilly. Osteoblast signalling and matrix responses to dynamic flow. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine. 224: 1509-1521.
  • 2010: A. Sittichokechaiwut, J.H. Edwards, A. Scutt and G.C. Reilly. Short bouts of mechanical loading are as effective as dexamethasone at inducing matrix production by human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. eCells and Materials, 20: 45-57.
  • 2010: G.Yourek, S.M. McCormick, J.J. Mao G.C. Reilly. Shear stress induces osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Regenerative Medicine, 5: 713-724.
  • 2010: G.C. Reilly, A.J. Engler: Intrinsic extracellular properties regulate stem cell differentiation. Journal of Biomechanics 43: 55-62.
  • 2009: A. Sittichockechaiwut, A.M. Scutt, A.J. Ryan, L.M. Bonewald, G.C. Reilly: Use of rapidly mineralising osteoblasts and short periods of mechanical loading to accelerate matrix maturation in 3D scaffolds. Bone. 44: 822-829.