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Magnetically Tunable Chondrocyte Cell Sheet Engineering for Osteoarthritis Therapy


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that gradually degrades the cartilage joints, affecting more than 50 million people in Europe. With no known treatment, this population is at risk of lower quality of life and permanent disability. The chondrocyte is a native cell in the cartilage joints that has been studied as a promising cell therapy agent for early-stage OA. Recently, by using a stimuli-responsive (SR) culture plate, many cell types can be prepared as a sheet-like cluster (cell sheet) analogous to the native biological tissue, entailing the enhanced regenerative efficacy when used as cell therapy. However, it is challenging to prepare the chondrocyte cell sheet, as the chondrocyte gradually loses the cartilage feature upon being cultured on the stiff SR plate. In this project, I aim to prepare the cartilage-like chondrocyte cell sheet by developing an innovative technique that is premised on the tuning of substrate stiffness during the cell culture stage. I will focus on three objectives: (1) to develop a new cell sheet-fabrication substrate that has the magnetically tunable stiffness, (2) to study the proof-of-concept of the tunable stiffness technique for modifying the model cell sheet activities, and (3) to apply this dynamic technique to obtain the cartilage-like chondrocyte cell sheet of which its regenerative efficacy against early-stage OA will be evaluated. To perform this project, I will draw from and extend upon my current expertise and works in biomaterial development and stiffness-cell interaction, with that of academic host Prof. Berensmeier (magnetic nanotechnology) and of industrial partner Dr. Vonk (cartilage cell therapy). This synergized academic-industry partnership will continue to the non-academic placement, wherein I will undertake the next-stage preclinical developments of chondrocyte cell sheets in a deeper and more relevant context of OA treatment. The proposed project gives a great contribution to the OA-stricken European society.


Net EU contribution
€ 217 309,20
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data

Partners (1)