Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INpaCT (An interdisciplinary approach to uncover the mechanisms of progression of cartilage damage at the cellular and tissue levels)
Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31
Presently, there is no treatment that can reverse or halt OA, other than pain-relief until joint replacement becomes necessary. Abnormal mechanical loading plays an important role in the progression of cartilage degeneration after injury. Since injured cartilage has limited intrinsic repair capacity, a thorough understanding of mechanobiological mechanisms at cellular and tissue levels in normal and pathological conditions is essential for developing effective treatments to restore function and prevent disease progression.
INpaCT focuses on elucidating key players involved in the progression of cartilage damage following injury using sophisticated microscopic, spectroscopic and molecular biology techniques combined with computational modelling and optimization algorithms. This will provide novel insights into disease mechanisms and ultimately improved repair strategies. The overall goal of INpaCT is to explore the underlying mechanisms at cellular and tissue level in a controlled in vitro model of osteoarthritis progression. We aim to determine poro-viscoelastic properties of healthy/damaged cells and their pericellular matrix in an intro model of osteoarthritis progression using a novel approach coupling Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) measurements, computational modelling and optimization algorithms. In addition, changes in cartilage structure, composition and metabolism in an in vitro model of osteoarthritis progression will be investigated.
This project increases the competitiveness of musculoskeletal research area in Europe by embedding new research knowledge and state-of-the-art techniques acquired by the fellow from MIT within the host lab in Finland. This project also established a long-term collaboration between MIT and UEF and opened new opportunities for joint research projects and joint supervision between the two universities.