Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disease leading to joint stiffness, swelling, loss of movement range and pain. It affects several millions of people worldwide, and thus contributes to the burden on health care systems. A hallmark of OA is the loss of proteoglycans from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage and increased chondrocyte hypertrophy, resulting in loss of cartilage integrity. In our group, we investigate several factors that play a role in cartilage homeostasis and are linked to the onset of osteoarthritis. Current research projects employ a variety of tissue- engineered cartilage models to
- explore regulators of chondrocyte hypertrophy
- uncover in detail how cell surface proteins participate in mechano- transduction in cartilage and
- examine how pain transmitters influence the loading response of chondrocytes.