Investigations on cartilage tissue engineering and endemic osteochondropathy, Kashin-Beck disease
In this page you will find a short summary of my reseach, but more information is available in my home pages here.
Skeletal diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, cause extensive health problem among millions of people in the world. The problems include pain, discomfort, and difficulty in having a decent life. Today, there are no good methods for treating the damaged joints. At advanced stage of the disease, the standard treatment is replacement of the joint with a prosthesis. However, during the last 10-15 years, cell-based treatments have been under development as new alternative methods to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
I have investigated how to use tissue engineering technology to produce bone and cartilage in the laboratory. Because the possibilities for isolating cartilage cells for therapy are limited, stem cells have also attracted his interest as alternative cells for cartilage manufacture.
In addition to cartilage tissue technology, I have had a long-term research collaboration with a Chinese group investigating a chronic endemic osteochondropathy, Kashin-Beck disease. This disease affects cartilage and bones already in young age. The cause for it is unknown, however, environment-related factors have been discovered, such as the lack of selenium in soil and contamination of cereals with mycotoxins, to be associated with the disease. Genetic factors are also likely to be involved. My collaborative work in China is aimed at revealing the genetic, proteomic, and metobolomic associations of the disease, and to develop new better research methods to investigate the disease, such patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell lines.