Max Rady College of Medicine
Physiology and Pathophysiology
Room 606A – John Buhler Research Centre
715 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P4
The long-term goal of Dr. Adrian West’s research program is to develop novel bioengineering technologies to create physiologically relevant experimental models of complex tissues. These technologies underpin ongoing fundamental research into how the mechanical environment modulates basic cellular processes, and how this manifests functionally at the tissue and organ level. Most notably, the laboratory uses three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting to create functional muscle tissue from cultured human and animal muscle cells. This 3D bioprinted muscle behaves just like a real muscle in the body. Through an academic-industrial partnership with Aspect Biosystems and a network of academic collaborators, uptake of these technologies is also fueling collaborative projects with significant commercial and biomedical research potential.
Dr. Adrian West was trained in ‘classic’ physiology at the University of Western Australia, using traditional cell culture and organ bath techniques to study how mechanical strain regulates force development in airway smooth muscle. Realizing that engineers get to play with the coolest toys, Adrian undertook his second postdoc in biomedical engineering at Dalhousie University, where he used novel three-dimensional (3D) tissue engineering techniques to study how changes in tissue stiffness might contribute to airway smooth muscle contraction in asthma. At UM, Adrian’s independent research program now uses 3D bioprinting technology to create highly accessible and physiologically-relevant experimental models of multiple muscle tissues. A particular focus is placed on how the extracellular matrix, fibroblasts and abnormal developmental conditions modulate contractile function in health and disease.