Regenerative Medicine & Microenvironment
This theme addresses two main topics:
1) Regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary field of science combining concepts and methodologies from a number of different scientific fields. Obviously, clinical sciences like surgery are important, and in the year 2010, the theme was greatly reinforced by the incorporation of dedicated surgeons. In the theme tissue-engineered constructs, based on extracellular matrix molecules, polymers and effector molecules (e.g. growth factors), are designed and fabricated, and analysedin vitroandin vivo. Smart organ-specific bioscaffolds are prepared in such a way that they provide appropriate signals to the cells to proliferate, migrate of differentiate. Focus is on ceramics, calcium phosphates, collagens, glycosaminoglycans and effector molecules like growth factors and cytokines. Emphasis is on a selected number of tissues, viz. cartilage/bone, skin, kidney and blood vessels and urogenital organs.
2) Microenvironment in health and disease.
The microenvironment consists of a large number of (structural) biomolecules. In the theme focus is on collagens, glycosaminoglycans, matrix metalloproteinases and a number of effector molecules (BMPs, TGF beta). The role of these components in cancers, nephropathies and degenerative cartilage diseases is studied in vitro as well asin vivo. Strategies to restore homeostasis in deranged and disease-associated microenvironments are pursued, including the use of glycomimetics.
Theme leader: Wout Feitz