Skräddarsydda miljöer för stamcells-differentiering applicerade på sjukdomsmodeller

Tidsperiod: 2016-01-01 till 2018-12-31

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Bidrag för anställning eller stipendier

Budget: 3 150 000 SEK

This project aims to develop a 3D-based differentiation method that can be customised for specific applications. Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) have great potential in regenerative medicine, disease modelling and drug development. In order to realise this potential, reliable differentiation methods are needed to enable formation of mature, tissue-realistic structures. During my proposed stay at Dr. Merry’s lab at the STEM centre in Nottingham, we plan to bring together stem cell culture optimisation strategies, 3D matrix engineering and custom-designed polysaccharides to devise tailor-made matrices for specialised tissue formation. In order to test this method, iPSC lines will be derived from Multiple Osteochondroma patients; a rare genetic disease that shows deregulated chondrocyte proliferation and bone exostoses and has been challenging to model as it involves reciprocal interactions with the surrounding matrix. These iPSC lines will be compared with control lines for their differences during 3D-customised differentiation into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and neural progenitors. Novel disease models and drug testing methods are critical to improve our understanding of rare genetic disorders that display tissue-specific phenotypes. The STEM centre, and more specifically Dr. Merry, have longstanding experience in tissue engineering and stem cell research, making it an ideal environment for the development of this project and the further development of the applicant.