Dr Sam Pashneh-Tala

BSc, BEng, PhD

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Research Fellow and Faculty of Engineering Media Fellow

s.pashneh-tala@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 5931

Full contact details

Dr Sam Pashneh-Tala
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
North Campus
Broad Lane
Sheffield
S3 7HQ
Profile

Having completed undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Mechanical Engineering at The University of Sheffield, Sam Pashneh-Tala joined the Department in 2012 as a PhD student within the White Rose DTC for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. He completed his thesis on the development of a tissue-engineered vascular graft using a novel polymer scaffold in 2017 and was subsequently awarded an EPSRC research fellowship.

Sam works in collaboration with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and IQS School of Engineering, Barcelona, along with various MedTech companies and clinicians. Sam also has a keen interest in technology transfer: in 2018 he participated in the prestigious ICURe programme, in association with Innovate UK, to explore the commercialisation of the technology developed through his research.

Sam is passionate about public engagement and presenting amazing engineering to audiences outside of academia. Through his work with the BBC, Sam has been appointed the first Faculty of Engineering Media Fellow, working to showcase the outstanding research and engineering conducted at The University of Sheffield through various media and public engagement activities.

Research interests

Sam’s research is focused on developing novel tissue-engineered blood vessels for use in vascular surgery. There exists a great clinical need for blood vessels suitable for vascular bypass and repair. Current strategies rely either on autograft vessels (which are of limited availability, variable quality and require invasive harvest) or synthetic conduits (which are prone to infection and thrombosis).

Using tissue engineering, Sam is exploring methods of growing blood vessels in the laboratory, suitable for implantation into patients. These utilise degradable porous scaffolds, produced from a novel photocurable polymer, seeded with cells and cultured under biomimetic conditions. Sam has designed bespoke bioreactors to support the growth of tissue-engineered blood vessels by mechanically stimulating them using a pulsatile flow to mimic the native blood vessel environment.

Sam is also developing 3D printing and additive manufacturing methods to allow blood vessels of various geometries to be produced. This technology may also be applied to cardiovascular research, allowing complex models of blood vessels to be produced in the lab for use in testing new drugs or vascular devices.

Publications

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Professional activities
  • Regener8 Early Career Researchers Network steering group
  • STEM ambassador
  • Journal peer review
  • Research grant peer review (EPSRC, Heart Research UK)
Video: What is Tissue Engineering?
Dr Sam Pashneh-Tala tells us about his research into Tissue Engineering