Reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem cells to 3D model bone and cartilage formation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering

Abstract

Maintenace of bone and cartilage is essential for healthy ageing. These tissues can be pathologically perturbed in diseases such as osteoarthritis or compromised in accidental injury leading to non-union fractures. Therapeutic options in these settings are limited and it is therefore paramount that studies are undertaken to develop new therapeutic strategies. Recent technological advances in human stem biology, genetic editing and 3-dimensional cell culture, means that it possible to undertake studies with primary human cells that can reproduce in vivo and pathological settings. Prior work in our laboratory has identified pathways that play major roles in new bone formation and cartilage maintenance. This raises the possibility that modulation of these pathways can be used to treat pathological aspects of osteoarthritis and/or enhance fracture healing in cases of non-union fractures. In order to achieve this, several steps need to be undertaken. This studentship will focus on (a) using reprogrammed human induced pluripotent stem cells to generate cells essential for bone and cartilage generation (e.g. osteoblasts and chondrocytes) (b) applying CRIPSr technology to genetically modify pathways so their therapeutic utility can be determined and (c) integrating controllable 3D gels to model tissue environments. Combined, these studies will provide unique insights into human bone biology and how cell-based therapeutics can be harnessed to treat/repair pathological and accidental damage.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S02347X/1 30/06/2019 31/12/2027
2284928 Studentship EP/S02347X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Maria Laura Vieri