Mechano-circadian rhythmicity - a key component in joint health and disease

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Materials Science


The circadian clock allows our body to co-ordinate functions according to whether it is day or night, creating a cycles of biological function every 24h. The internal biological clock needs environmental cues to set the time, which is known to be very important because loss of an appropriate circadian rhythm is linked to diseases including premature aging and age-linked diseases such as osteoarthritis. Of great potential importance in this respect, the loading of our muscles and joints is repeated in a daily cycle, with higher levels during daytime activity and reduced loading during night-time rest. It is known that the tissues of our joints respond to such physical forces by strengthening and adapting. However, very little is known of the effect of mechanical cues on the time of the biological clock. Therefore, the key aim of this project will be to examine whether mechanical loading, such as occurs during normal activity, can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm in cartilage.

This multidisciplinary project will incorporate elements of mechano-biology/biomechanics, circadian clock biology and mathematical modelling, benefiting from an international multidisciplinary team (supervisors and collaborators) from leading Universities in the UK and USA who will focus collaboratively on understanding novel mechanisms underpinning healthy aging.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N50953X/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
2052966 Studentship EP/N50953X/1 24/09/2017 30/07/2021 Shaun Peggrem