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Bio-Bling: Bone jewellery

You can’t give the one you love your heart. But you can grow them a ring from your bone tissue. Jewellery from lab-grown bone-tissue cultured from human cells is now a reality. The artists and material scientists behind the concept, plus a couple who donated tissue cells for the creation of their wedding rings, will reveal the secrets behind the project.

A groundbreaking new project - using human bone tissue to create bespoke jewellery - will launch at the Dana Centre, the Science Museum’s unique café and bar for adults to discuss contemporary science, on 18 January 2006.

‘Bio-Bling’ will explore how lab-grown bone tissue cultured from human cells can be engineered as a material for design and future possibilities and uses for human bone tissue produced in a laboratory environment will also be explored before the jewellery is constructed and displayed at Guy’s Hospital later in 2006.

At the Dana Centre event the public will have the unique opportunity to probe designers and scientists behind the project.

The event will be a ‘melting pot’ of ideas. Experts include Ian Thompson from Kings College London who will be quizzed about the clinical opportunities for bioactive materials and Nikki Stott and Tobie Kerridge, researchers from the Royal College of Art, who are investigating the relationship between design and new technologies as well as the social and cultural issues of tissue engineering. The couples who are donating their bone tissue will also be at the event.

In addition, visitors will have the chance to get involved in a hands-on demonstration of the technologies that allow human tissue and precious metals to be combined as biojewellery.

Biojewellery is a government-funded project to promote awareness of the issues surrounding tissue engineering.

Bio Bling – Bone Jewellery · Date: Wednesday 18th January 2006· Time: 19.00-20.30· Venue: The Science Museum’s Dana Centre, 165 Queens Gate, London, SW7 5HD· Tube: Gloucester Road· Our events are open to anyone over the age of 18. Tickets are FREE but must be pre-booked on: 020 7942 4040 or tickets@danacentre.org.uk
The brainchild of Stott and Kerridge, Biojewellery aims to share the new advances in biotechnology with the public in an exciting and relevant way.
Biojewellery began with two inconspicuous adverts in New Scientist and Bizarre magazine inviting couples to take part in the process and design rings using precious metals and lab-grown bone-tissue cultured from their own cells.
Four couples have been selected and their cells - taken during the removal of wisdom teeth - will be prepared and seeded onto a bioactive scaffold (a structure made from living tissue). This pioneering material encourages the cells to divide and grow rapidly in a laboratory environment, so that the scaffold disappears and is replaced by living bone tissue.

Appearing at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre on Wednesday 18 January are:

Dr Ian Thompson, Kings College London
· Dr Thompson is a materials engineer and is leading a group of researchers who are exploring clinical opportunities for bioactive materials.

Nikki Stott and Tobie Kerridge, Royal College of Art
· Stott and Kerridge will discuss how the new technology combines with design as well as the social and cultural issues of tissue engineering

Dr Iain Brassington, University of Keele
· Dr Brassington will discuss the ethics of enhancements and body modification in a medical and matrimonial context.

Dr Lucy Di Silvio, Kings College London
· Dr Di Silvio, a cell biologist, will be discussing the principles and procedures for Isolating, preparing and culturing human cells.

Couples involved with the project
· All the couples who have donated cells for tissue culturing will discuss their involvement. The couple’s cells will be grown at Guy’s Hospital and finished bone tissue will be taken to a studio at the Royal College of Art to be used in the design of a pair of rings.
The bone will be combined with traditional precious metals so that each has a ring made with the tissue of their partner. The rings will be displayed as part of an exhibition later in 2006 at Guy’s Hospital.
“Medical research is often estranged from the social and cultural contexts in which it is destined to play a role, “ said Tobie Kerridge, RCA. “With Biojewellery we are keen to engage individuals in the hidden technologies of tissue engineering, and provide a context for the intimate and emotional qualities of peoples desires to influence the value of biomedical processes.”


TBC | talks


Date and Time:

18 January 2006 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Dana Centre
165 Queen's Gate
+44 20 79 42 40 40
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Organised by:

Science Museum
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Available from:

Tickets are FREE but must be pre-booked on: 020 7942 4040 or tickets@danacentre.org.uk

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