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Development of a biomechanoreactor knee model of OA

Friday 6 November 2009

Prof.dr Floris Lafeber / dr Simon Mastbergen

There is a large gap in knowledge in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease with tissue degeneration and inflammation. OA can only be diagnosed in a late phase of the disease and cannot be cured. In research to the development and progression of the disease a lot of different animal models or in vitro models are used. However, both set-ups have their limitations. In the animal models are a lot of (unknown) variables which must be taken into account. On the other hand, in vitro models lack a lot of important components of the disease such as biomechanics. Therefore we would like to develop a biomechanoreactor for complete joints in order to improve the current models of OA. We will use goat knee joints in which in vivo OA is induced. Subsequently these knees will be further cultured in an in vitro set-up by using our biomechanoreactor. This will give us a model in which the joint is as much as possible intact but still can be studied on biochemical (inflammatory and tissue degeneration mediators) and biomechanical characteristics in detail. If this model is feasible it will add significantly to reduction of experimental animal discomfort.

As a student you will be involved in:
- Development of the biomechanoreactor
- In vivo and in vitro animal experimental/surgical techniques including OA induction, preparation of joints, tissue culture among others. Affinity with biomechanics of joints and sterile tissue culturing is important.
- A large array of biochemical and histochemical analyses
- Preparing a publication

This project involves a complete new to develop model of OA in which a lot of different laboratory techniques can be acquired.

6 or 9 months

Dr Simon Mastbergen, S.Mastbergen@umcutrecht.nl, 088 75 597 58
Prof.dr Floris Lafeber, F.Lafeber@umcutrecht.nl, 088 75 585 21

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