Connective Tissue Cells and Repair group


We work on connective tissue regeneration,  in particular cartilage repair. We aim to understand what limits cartilage repair and try to improve it. 

In order to improve tissue repair we believe it is necessary to understand natural healing responses  as well as the pathogenesis of progressive degenerative cartilage diseases (i.e. osteoarthritis). We use several cell- and tissue culture models, animal  and clinical samples to study disease mechanisms as well as to test new treatment approaches. We focus in particular on culture models that mimic the situation as good as possible by combining tissues. For example cartilage with bone, cartilage with synovium, cartilage with different type of macrophages.

The main challenges we are working on are:
1) to form good quality cartilage  (which cells, which stimuli, which biomaterials);  aiming to stimulate the body's  intrinsic repair capacity to generate cartilage or to tissue engineering cartilage outside the body, in the laboratory, that can be used for transplantation
2) to repair tissue under disease conditions, focusing in particular on effects of inflammation (macrophages) on repair cells and how to modulate this
Our translational research is performed from a cell biological view point in a group consisting of people with different backgrounds. We focus on cellular processes and our main interests are: cartilage, joint inflammation, macrophages, cell differentiation (in particular stem cells), growth factors/cytokines and extracellular matrix. 

We participate in Erasmus MC Academic Center Stem Cells and Organoids in personalized and REgenerative medicine (SCORE), Erasmus MC Academic Center Bone & Joint,  Rotterdam OsteoArthritis Research (ROAR) and postgraduate school Molecular Medicine.

Connective Tissue Cells and Repair Group 2017

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