Characterisation of the intimate relationship between collagen and mineral during skeletal biomineralisation.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute


The development and growth of the skeleton depends on the integration of events directing cells derived from the primitive mesenchyme to produce cartilage and bone matrix, and to mineralise and remodel that matrix. Bone is a composite material made up of mostly collagen and mineral whose combined material properties make bone strong and tough, providing rigidity and resistance to fracture. Changes in the composition and organisation of these building blocks affect bone's mechanical integrity and can lead to some diseases of great public health concern, e.g. osteoarthritis, rickets and osteoporosis. Understanding the mineralisation process better will also allow a better understanding of soft tissue ossification abnormalities such as arterial calcification. The initiation of the first mineral crystals with the collagenous extracellular matrix is pivotal for ensuring that mineralisation progresses physiologically but unfortunately there are significant gaps in our knowledge on how this process occurs and is regulated. Therefore, this inter-disciplinary studentship will use various biology and chemistry approaches to determine how a protein (PHOSPHO1) essential for bone formation, regulates bone mineralisation and the establishment of the intimate relationship between the collagen and mineral phases. Ultimately this studentship will tell us how PHOSPHO1 regulates fibrillar collagen mineralisation.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M010996/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1803936 Studentship BB/M010996/1 01/09/2016 31/08/2020 Scott Dillon