Development of Scaffolds for Restoration of Myotendous Junctions

Project Details

Academic site: Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Eastern Hill Campus

Damage to muscle tissue resulting from trauma poses significant problems for orthopaedic surgeons attempting to save limbs and recover joint function. Likewise, it is currently beyond the scope of regenerative therapies to restore lost muscle function arising from disease-related loss of muscle tissue. World-wide, musculoskeletal conditions affect more than 1 in every 100 people and the prognosis for regeneration and long-term success for good functional outcomes is poor.

This project focuses on two aspects central to the restoration of compromised muscle; (i) re-establishing the myotendonous junction to restore articulation of limb joints; and, (ii) c.

Therefore, the key aims of this project are:

  • To develop bioactive polymeric scaffolds that support implanted cultured myocytes and neurons to build 3D tissue suitable for restorative and regenerative surgery;  
  • To devise a biomimetic approach by using biologically active factors incorporated into the material structure of the scaffolds to promote the growth and differentiation of tissue to stimulate neuromuscular junction formation.

This project will utilize cultured adult stem cells that will be differentiated into required cell types on supporting 3D polymer scaffolds developed as part of a collaborative link with the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.


  • Associate Professor Wendyl D'Souza, Research Fellow
  • Dr Dean Freestone, Research Fellow
  • Dr Andre Peterson, Research Fellow
  • Mr Simon Vogrin, Neuroimaging Research Analyst


  • 619614 NHMRC Project Grant. CIs Mark Cook, Gordon Wallace, Simon Moulton, Robert Kapsa. Polymers for anti-epileptic drug delivery (2010 - 2012). $514, 735 AUD.
  • 1026367 NHMRC Project Grant. CIs Mark Cook, David Grayden, Leigh Johnston, Chris Plummer. Non-invasive methods for localising epileptic brain activity (2012 - 2014). $653, 269.95 AUD.
  • 1000764 NHMRC Development Grant. CIs Mark Cook, David Grayden, Chris Williams, Peter Blamey, Anthony Burkitt. Development of an ambulatory epilepsy treatment device (2010 - 2012). $415, 700 AUD.

Research Group

Mark Cook

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.