Tissue Function & Regeneration

The increase in life expectancy in western society results in an increasing population suffering from chronic diseases, concomitant with reduced physical activity.

This is associated with injury, wounds, and loss of bone and muscle tissue and strength. Moreover, (traumatic) injuries in sports and after accidents are increasingly common. Detrimental effects of injury, chronic disease, and aging on musculoskeletal tissues result from  an impaired ability of muscle, bone, and skins cells to proliferate and differentiate.

Overall Aim

Successful regeneration and/or adaptation of muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage, and skin requires optimal cellular conditions, both systemically by biochemical changes in the circulation that alter the niche of the cells, as well as locally at the cellular level.

Cellular functioning is critically determined by the niche stiffness and architecture, availability of nutrients, oxygen concentration, as well as the presence or absence of signalling molecules such as growth factors, cytokines, and/or steroids.

This program integrates molecular biology, cell physiology, chemistry, biophysics, bioengineering, and medicine to decipher physicochemical conditions to modulate cellular signaling and promote vital musculature and bone.

The aim is to develop and combine (new) techniques to investigate musculoskeletal and skin tissue regeneration at different biological length scales, either isolated or integrated in a two-dimensional (2D) or 3D environment.

To this end a network of clinicians, physiotherapists, basic scientists, and private partners will be created facilitating a multi-way traffic between fundamental and applied sciences to develop new interventions, biomaterials, as well as training and therapy.

Program Board

Program Members