We aim to understand what limits cartilage repair and try to improve it. In order to achieve this goal we believe it is necessary to understand natural healing responses as well as the pathogenesis of progressive degenerative cartilage diseases (i.e. osteoarthritis). Several cell- and tissue culture models have been developed and are in use , animal and clinical samples to study disease mechanisms as well as to test new treatment approaches.
The main challenges we are working on are:
1) to form good quality cartilage we study chondrogenesis in different cell types (e.g. different types of chondrocytes, subpopulations of MSCs from bone marrow or synovium, iPS) and the role that different intracellular pathways, chemical/physical stimuli and differentially designed biomaterials have on chondrogenic differentiation of those cells. We aim to stimulate the body's intrinsic repair capacity to generate cartilage or to tissue engineering cartilage outside the body that can be used for transplantation or disease modeling.
2) to repair tissue under disease conditions, focusing in particular on effects of inflammation on repair and how to modulate this. We focus in particular on in vitro models that mimic as good as possible the in vivo situation, for example by allowing interactions between different tissues or cell types present in the joint (e.g. cartilage with bone, cartilage with synovium, cartilage with different type of macrophages) and the use rodent models.
KEYWORDS: cartilage regeneration, osteoarthritis, chondrogenesis, stem cells, growth factors
Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam Department of Orthopaedics and Department of Otorhinolaryngology Wytemaweg 80
3015 CN Rotterdam
+31 10 704 3661/4626