Professor Che Connon
Professor of Tissue Engineering
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: T: 0191 241 8623 M: 0793 1093 063
- Address: Institute of Genetic Medicine
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
International Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne
2012 - 2014 Reader in Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, University of Reading, UK.
2007 - 2012 RCUK Academic Research Fellow, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, University of Reading, UK.
2004 - 2006 Royal Society Fellowship, School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, UK.
2002 - 2004 JSPS Fellowship, Dept. Ophthalmology, Kyoto University of Medicine, Japan.
2001 - 2002 PDRA, School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, UK.
2000 - 2001 PDRA, Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, UK.
1996 - 2000 PhD Oxford Research Unit, Open University, Oxford, UK
ARVO Corneal Section
MRC Regenerative Medicine Research Committee
ISER 2016 Corneal Session
EU COST Action BM1302 (Joining Forces in Corneal Regeneration Research)
Visiting Professor, University of Reading, UK
Dr. Ricardo Gouveia
Dr. Stephen Swioklo
Dr. Andrei Constantinescu
Dr. Fadhilah Zainal Abidin
Ms. Martina Miotto
Applying innovative bio-materials to regenerative medicine.
My research interests are linked by the hypothesis that combinatorial approaches to tissue formation are superior to individual stimulation. More specifically, successful tissue engineering approaches will be realised upon the proper spatial and temporal presentation of cells, signaling molecules, biomaterials, and mechanical stimulation. My research team seeks to engineer functional replacement and temporary 'bridge' tissues using a modular approach while also developing model systems to study physiological and pathophysiological corneal tissue formation.
The biotechnology industry is rapidly expanding and the evolving fields of tissue engineering and cell-based therapy are projected to have a high impact in regenerative medicine. In particular my lab is investigating the application of functionalized peptide/polymer water-based gels in these progressively merging fields. Using these jelly-like substances I aim to improve stem cell bioprocessing, storage (shipment) and subsequent engraftment. I am also employing the self-assembling property of these gels to create intelligent coatings that control the spatiotemporal positioning of stem cells to create bioprosthetic tissues with appropriate hierarchical structures suitable for a range of tissue replacement and wound healing therapies.
Recently we have begun to focus on the role tissue stiffness (compliance) plays in cell physiology in both engineered constructs and ocular surface homeostasis. This has brought about a new hypothesis underpinning epithelial differentiation and migration across the cornea with important implications for our current understanding of stem cell niche biology and corneal (limbal) stem cell therapy - of which my co-workers at the Institute of Genetic Medicine have considerable clinical expertise.
However, I also predict that the future of tissue engineering will not be limited to regenerative medicine. My lab is now starting to conceive of functional cell-based biological constructs engineered not for transplantation but for a specific biotechnological need. I have termed this 'super tissue engineering' i.e. the rational design of cell based constructs that have a limited but exceptional biotechnological function.
My research is largely funded by the UK research councils (BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC) as well as the DSTL, however I do accept a small number of self-funded PhD students with a keen interest and enthusiasm for cutting-edge tissue engineering projects across a range of structural tissues.
- Gouveia RM, González-Andrades E, Cardona JC, González-Gallardo C, Ionescu AM, Garzon I, Alaminos M, González-Andrades M, Connon CJ. Controlling the 3D architecture of Self-Lifting Auto-generated Tissue Equivalents (SLATEs) for optimized corneal graft composition and stability. Biomaterials 2017, 121, 205-219.
- Figueiredo GS, Bojic S, Rooney P, Wilshaw SP, Connon CJ, Gouveaia RM, Patterson C, Lepert G, Mudhar HS, Figueiredo FC, Lako M. Gamma-irradiated human amniotic membrane decellularised with sodium dodecylsulfate is a more efficient substrate for the ex vivo expansion of limbal stem cells. Acta Biomaterialia 2017, 61, 124-133.
- Castelletto V, Kaur A, Hamley IW, Barnes RH, Karatzas KA, Hermida-Merino D, Swioklo S, Connon CJ, Stasiak J, Reza M, Ruokolainen J. Hybrid membrane biomaterials from self-assembly in polysaccharide and peptide amphiphile mixtures: controllable structural and mechanical properties and antimicrobial activity. RSC Advances 2017, 7(14), 8366-8375.
- Stacey GN, Connon CJ, Coopman K, Dickson AJ, Fuller B, Hunt CJ, Kemp P, Kerby J, Man J, Matejtschuk P, Moore H, Morris J, Oreffo ROC, Slater N, Ward S, Wiggins C, Zimmermann H. Preservation and stability of cell therapy products: Recommendations from an expert workshop. Regenerative Medicine 2017, 12(5), 553-564.
- Swioklo S, Connon CJ. Short-term Storage of Cells for Application in Cell-based Therapies. In: Connon CJ, ed. Bioprocessing for Cell Based Therapies. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2017, pp.187-210.
- Gouveia RM, Koudouna E, Jester J, Figueiredo F, Connon CJ. Template Curvature Influences Cell Alignment to Create Improved Human Corneal Tissue Equivalents. Advanced Biosystems 2017, ePub ahead of print.
- Kirkham S, Hamley IW, Smith AM, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ, Reza M, Ruokolainen J. A self-assembling fluorescent dipeptide conjugate for cell labelling. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2016, 137, 104-108.
- Swioklo S, Constantinescu A, Connon CJ. Alginate-Encapsulation for the Improved Hypothermic Preservation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2016, 5(3), 339-349.
- Lepert G, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ, Paterson C. Assessing corneal biomechanics with Brillouin spectro-microscopy. Faraday Discussions 2016, 187, 415-428.
- Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. Collagen scaffolds for corneal regeneration. In: Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine in Ophthalmology: Second Edition. Cambridge: Elsevier Inc, 2016, pp.151-177.
- Swioklo S, Connon CJ. Keeping cells in their place: the future of stem cell encapsulation. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 2016, 16(10), 1181-1183.
- Swioklo S, Ding P, Pacek AW, Connon CJ. Process parameters for the high-scale production of alginate-encapsulated stem cells for storage and distribution throughout the cell therapy supply chain. Process Biochemistry 2016, epub ahead of print.
- Abidin FZ, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. Application of retinoic acid improves form and function of tissue engineered corneal construct. Organogenesis 2015, 11(3), 122-136.
- Connon CJ. Approaches to Corneal Tissue Engineering: Top-down or Bottom-up?. Procedia Engineering 2015, 110, 15-20.
- Gouveia RM, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. Bio-fabrication and physiological self-release of tissue equivalents using smart peptide amphiphile templates. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 2015, 26(10), 242.
- Foster JW, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. Low-glucose enhances keratocyte-characteristic phenotype from corneal stromal cells in serum-free conditions. Scientific Reports 2015, 5, 10839.
- Connon CJ, Foster JW, Gouveia RM. Low-glucose Enhances Keratocyte-characteristic Phenotype from Corneal Stromal Cells in Serum-free Conditions. In: Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology (ARVO 2015). 2015, Denver, Colorado, USA: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
- Gouveia RM, Castelletto V, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. New Self-Assembling Multifunctional Templates for the Biofabrication and Controlled Self-Release of Cultured Tissue. Tissue Engineering. Part A 2015, 21(11-12), 1772-1784.
- Miotto M, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. Peptide Amphiphiles in Corneal Tissue Engineering. Journal of Functional Biomaterials 2015, 6(3), 687-707.
- da Silva ER, Walter MNM, Reza M, Castelletto V, Ruokolainen J, Connon CJ, Alves WA, Hamley IW. Self-Assembled Arginine-Capped Peptide Bolaamphiphile Nanosheets for Cell Culture and Controlled Wettability Surfaces. Biomacromolecules 2015, 16(10), 3180-3190.
- Hamley IW, Dehsorkhi A, Castelletto V, Walter MNM, Connon CJ, Reza M, Ruokolainen J. Self-Assembly and Collagen-Stimulating Activity of a Peptide Amphiphile Incorporating a Peptide Sequence from Lumican. Langmuir 2015, 31(15), 4490-4495.
- Dehsorkhi A, Gouveia RM, Smith AM, Hamley IW, Castelletto V, Connon CJ, Reza M, Ruokolainen J. Self-assembly of a dual functional bioactive peptide amphiphile incorporating both matrix metalloprotease substrate and cell adhesion motifs. Soft Matter 2015, 11(16), 3115-3124.
- Walter MNM, Dehsorkhi A, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. Supra-molecular assembly of a lumican-derived peptide amphiphile enhances its collagen-stimulating activity. Biomaterials Science 2015, 4(2), 346-354.
- Castelletto VV, Gouveia RJ, Connon CJ, Hamley IW, Seitsonen J, Nykanen A, Ruokolainen J. Alanine-rich amphiphilic peptide containing the RGD cell adhesion motif: a coating material for human fibroblast attachment and culture. Biomaterials Science 2014, 2(3), 362-369.
- Foster JW, Jones RR, Bippes CC, Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. Differential nuclear expression of Yap in basal epithelial cells across the cornea and substrates of differing stiffness. Experimental Eye Research 2014, 127, 37-41.
- Castelletto VV, Gouveia RJ, Connon CJ, Hamley IW, Seitsonen J, Ruokolainen J, Longo E, Siligardi G. Influence of elastase on alanine-rich peptide hydrogels. Biomaterials Science 2014, 2(6), 867-874.
- Wright B, Bank PA, Luetchford KA, Acosta FR, Connon CJ. Oxidised alginate hydrogels as niche environments for corneal epithelial cells. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A 2014, 102(10), 3393–3400.
- Gouveia RM, Jones RR, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. The bioactivity of composite Fmoc-RGDS-collagen gels. Biomaterials Science 2014, 2(9), 1222-1229.
- Xiao X, Pan S, Liu X, Zhu X, Connon CJ, Wu J, Mi S. In vivo study of the biocompatibility of a novel compressed collagen hydrogel scaffold for artificial corneas. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A 2013, 102(6), 1782-1787.
- Chen B, Sahoo R, Wright B, Connon CJ. A novel alternative to Cryopreservation for the Short-Term Storage of Stem Cells for Use in Cell Therapy Using Alginate Encapsulation. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2013, 19(7), 568-576.
- Gouveia RM, Castelletto V, Alcock SG, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. Bioactive films produced from self-assembling peptide amphiphiles as versatile substrates for tuning cell adhesion and tissue architecture in serum-free conditions. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 2013, 1(44), 6157-6169.
- Jones RR, Castelletto V, Connon CJ, Hamley IW. Collagen Stimulating Effect of Peptide Amphiphile C16–KTTKS on Human Fibroblasts. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013, 10(3), 1063–1069.
- Morrison PWJ, Connon CJ, Khutoryanskiy VV. Cyclodextrin-Mediated Enhancement of Riboflavin Solubility and Corneal Permeability. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013, 10(2), 756–762.
- Castelletto V, Gouveia RJ, Connon CJ, Hamley IW. New RGD-Peptide Amphiphile Mixtures Containing a Negatively Charged Diluent. Faraday Discuss 2013, 166, 381-397.
- Castelletto V, Gouveia RJ, Connon CJ, Hamley IW. Self-Assembly and Bioactivity of a Polymer/Peptide Conjugate Containing the RGD Cell Adhesion Motif and PEG. European Polymer Journal 2013, 49(10), 2961–2967.
- Gouveia RM, Connon CJ. The effects of retinoic acid on human corneal stromal keratocytes cultured in vitro under serum-free conditions. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2013, 54(12), 7483-7491.
- Wright B, Hopkinson A, Leyland M, Connon CJ. The Secretome of Alginate-Encapsulated Limbal Epithelial Stem Cells Modulates Corneal Epithelial Cell Proliferation. PLoS One 2013, 8(7), e70860.
- Wright B, Mi S, Connon CJ. Towards the use of hydrogels in the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency. Drug Discovery Today 2013, 18(1-2), 79–86.
- Cave R, Cook J, Connon CJ, Khutoryanskiy V. A flow system for the on-line quantitative measurement of the retention of dosage forms on biological surfaces using spectroscopy and image analysis. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2012, 428(1-2), 96-102.
- Wright B, Cave RA, Cook JP, Khutoryanskiy V, Mi S, Chen B, Leyland M, Connon CJ. Enhanced viability of corneal epithelial cells for efficient transport/storage using a structurally-modified calcium alginate hydrogel. Regenerative Medicine 2012, 7(3), 295-307.
- Jones RR, Hamley I, Connon CJ. Ex vivo expansion of limbal stem cells is affected by substrate properties. Stem Cell Research 2012, 8(3), 403-409.
- Feng Y, Foster J, Mi S, Chen B, Connon CJ. Influence of substrate on corneal epithelial cell viability within ocular surface models. Experimental Eye Research 2012, 101, 97-103.
- Castelletto V, Cheng G, Stain C, Connon CJ, Hamley I. Self-Assembly of a Peptide Amphiphile Containing L-Carnosine and Its Mixtures with a Multilamellar Vesicle Forming Lipid. Langmuir 2012, 28(31), 11599-11608.
- Castelletto V, Hamley IW, Stain C, Connon CJ. Slow-Release RGD-Peptide Hydrogel Monoliths. Langmuir 2012, 28(34), 12575-12580.
- Chen B, Jones RR, Mi S, Foster J, Alcock SG, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. The mechanical properties of amniotic membrane influence its effect as a biomaterial for ocular surface repair. Soft Matter 2012, 8(32), 8379-8387.
- Mi S, David LA, Chowdhury B, Jones RR, Hamley IW, Squires MA, Connon CJ. Tissue engineering a fetal membrane. Tissue Engineering Part A 2012, 18(3-4), 373-381.
- Cheng G, Castelletto V, Jones RR, Connon CJ, Hamley IW. Hydrogelation of self-assembling RGD-based peptides. Soft Matter, 7 (4) 2011, 1326 – 1333.
- Mi S, Khutoryanskiy VV, Jones RR, Zhu X, Hamley IW, Connon CJ. Photochemical cross-linking of plastically compressed collagen gel produces an optimal scaffold for corneal tissue engineering. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A, 99A 2011, 1-8.
- Chen B, Mi S, Wright B, Connon CJ. Differentiation status of limbal epithelial cells cultured on intact and denuded amniotic membrane before and after air-lifting. Tissue Engineering Part A, 16(9) 2010, 2721-2729.
- Mi S, Chen B, Wright B, Connon CJ. Ex Vivo Construction of an Artificial Ocular Surface by Combination of Corneal Limbal Epithelial Cells and a Compressed Collagen Scaffold Containing Keratocytes. Tissue Engineering Part A, 16 (6) 2010, 2091-2100.
- Chen B, Mi S, Wright B, Connon CJ. Investigation of K14/K5 as a Stem Cell Marker in the Limbal Region of the Bovine Cornea. PLoS ONE 2010, 5(10), e13192.
- Mi S, Chen B, Wright B, Connon CJ. Plastic compression of a collagen gel forms a much improved scaffold for ocular surface tissue engineering over conventional collagen gels. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A, 95A(2) 2010, 447-453.
- Connon CJ, Doutch J, Chen B, Hopkinson A, Mehta JS, Nakamura T, Kinoshita S, Meek KM. The Variation In Transparency Of Amniotic Membrane Used In Ocular Surface Regeneration. Br J Ophthalmol, 94 (accompanied by Editorial) 2010, 1057-1061.
- Ma A, Boulton M, Zhao B, Connon CJ, Cai J, Albon J. A Role for Notch Signaling in Human Corneal Epithelial Cell Differentiation and Proliferation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 48 2007, 3576 - 3585.
- Connon CJ, Nakamura T, Hopkinson A, Quantock AJ, Yagi N, Doutch J, Meek KM. The Biomechanics of Amnion Rupture: An X-Ray Diffraction Study. PLoS ONE 2007, 2(11), e1147.
- Kawasaki S, Tanioka H, Yamasaki K, Connon CJ, Kinoshita S. Expression and tissue distribution of p63 isoforms in human ocular surface epithelia. Exp Eye Res, 82(2) 2006, 293-299.
- Connon CJ, Kawasaki S, Liles M, Koizumi N, Nakamura T, Quantock AJ, Kinoshita S. Gene expression and immunolocalisation of a calcium-activated chloride channel during the stratification of cultivated and developing corneal epithelium. Cell Tissue Res, 323 2006, 177-182.
- Hirai N, Kawasaki S, Tanioka H, Connon CJ, Yamasaki K, Yokoi N, Komuro A, Kinoshita S. Pathological Keratinization in the Conjunctival Epithelium of Sjogren's Syndrome. Exp Eye Res, 82(3) 2006, 371-378.
- Connon CJ, Nakamura T, Quantock AJ, Kinoshita S. The persistence of transplanted amniotic membrane in corneal stroma. Am J Ophthalmol, 141(1) 2006, 190-192.
- Elble RC, Walia V, Cheng HC, Connon CJ, Mundhenk L, Gruber AD, Pauli BU. The Putative Chloride Channel hCLCA2 has a Single Carboxy-Terminal Transmembrane Segment. J Biol Chem, 281 2006, 29448-29454.
- Ishino Y, Sano Y, Nakamura T, Connon CJ, Rigby H, Fullwood NJ, Kinoshita S. Amniotic Membrane as a Carrier for Cultivated Human Corneal Endothelium Cell Transplantation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 45 2004, 800-806.
- Connon CJ, Meek KM, Kinoshita S, Quantock AJ. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Collagen Fibrillar Array During the Onset of Transparency in the Avian Cornea. Exp Eye Res, 78(5) 2004, 909-915.
- Connon CJ, Kawasaki S, Yamasaki K, Quantock AJ, Kinoshita S. The Quantification of hCLCA2 and Colocalisation with Integrin ß4 in Stratified Human Epithelia. Acta Histochemica, 106(6) 2004, 421-425.
- Connon CJ, Meek KM. The Structure and Swelling of Corneal Scar Tissue in Penetrating Full-Thickness Wounds. Cornea, 23(2) 2004, 165-171.
- Connon CJ, Young RD, Kidd E. P2X7 Receptors on Human Monocytes Cluster Together in Response to Prolonged Agonist Exposure: Implications for Cell Lysis. Pharmacology, 67(3) 2003, 163-168.
- Connon CJ, Marshall J, Patmore AL, Brahma A, Meek KM. Persistent haze and disorganisation of anterior stromal collagen appear unrelated following phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). J Refract Surg, 19(3) 2003, 323-332.
- Connon CJ, Seigler V, Meek KM, Hodson SA, Caterson B, Quantock AJ. Proteoglycan Alterations and Collagen Reorganisation in the Secondary Avian Cornea during Development. Ophthalmic Res, 35(4) 2003, 178-181.
- Quantock AJ, Padroni S, Connon CJ, Milne G, Schanzlin DJ. Proteoglycan Alterations in the Rabbit Corneal Stroma after a Lamellar Incision. J Cat Refract Surg, 29(4) 2003, 821-824.
- Connon CJ, Meek KM. The organisation of corneal collagen fibrils during the healing of trephined wounds in rabbits. Wound Rep Regen, 11(1) 2003, 71-78.
- Meek KM, Leonard D, Connon CJ, Dennis S, Khan S. Transparency, swelling and scarring in the corneal stroma. Eye. 17 (8) 2003, 927-936.
- Kawasaki S, Kawamoto S, Yokoi N, Connon CJ, Minesaki Y, Kinoshita S, Okubo K. Up-regulated gene expression in the conjunctival epithelium of patients with Sjogren's syndrome. Exp Eye Res.77 (1) 2003, 17-26.
- Connon CJ, Meek KM, Newton RH, Kenney MC, Karageozian H. Hyaluronidase Treatment, Collagen Fibril Packing and Normal Transparency in Rabbit Corneas. J Refract Surg, 16(4) 2000, 448-455.