Changes in the expression of mechanosensors with age and degeneration
This project will investigate whether and how the expression of a specific group of mechanosensors – the TRP Channels – changes with age and degeneration in the human intervertebral disc. Methods used in this project will include qPCR, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting to investigate expressio
Automated identification of two-dimensional crystals based on optical contrast difference
The goal of this project is to develop an automated setup that is able to identify flakes of different thicknesses on Si/SiO2 substrates by analyzing the difference in optical contrast between the crystals and the substrate.
The role of early trauma on bone structure
In this project, the effects of early trauma on bone structure will be analyzed by microCT.
Insilico Cell Mechanics: Finite Element Modelling of cell behaviour in mechanical characterisation
In our group we experimentally analyze the resistance of cells to substrate deformations. In the present project we plan to generate a finite element model of the cell response to biaxial stretching and use it to estimate cell stiffness from the experimental outcomes.
Development of smart, antimicrobial implant coatings for open fracture stabilization
This project will combine literature review with experimental work, with the overall goal to develop smart, antimicrobial implant coatings.
Recording in real-time: development and implementation of real-time 3D tracking algorithms for observation of biological samples.
The spatio-temporal changes of a living organism happen in real time. Observation of these changes is highly challenging even with cutting edge recording techniques. We are aiming to push this limit with our recently developed functional imaging platform.
Revealing material secrets in photoelectrochemical water-splitting with operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting to produce H2 using metal-oxide semiconductors is promising approach to solar hydrogen production but these materials are poorly understood. Therefore we use X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) during (operando) water-splitting to improve our understanding.
Development of a reflection-type near-field optical microscope
In this project a reflection-type near-field optical microscope will be designed, developed and characterized.
How can propionibacterium acnes cause back pain?
The aim of this project is to identify molecular mechanisms that may be explain pain development upon bacterial infection of the intervertebral disc, specifically by propionibacterium acnes.
Gene expression-based purification of primary tenocytes using novel nanostructured RNA probes
The aim of this project is to purify a homogenous population of primary tenocytes from the mouse tail tendons by targeting the gene expression of the tenogenic markers (COLIA2, Scleraxis, and Tenomodulin or Decorin).
Engineering the Diabetic Tendon Microenvironment
This project aims to engineer a synthetic hydrogel-based cell niche that mimics key aspects of the diabetic tendon extracellular matrix. Patient-derived tendon fibroblasts will be used to construct a more physiologically relevant three-dimensional (3D) model.
The role of tendon matrix composition in regulating tenocytes fate: A tissue engineering approach.
The goal of this project is to create a 3D in vitro model to study tendon cell-ECM interaction using collagen gels and primary rat tenocytes.
Tendon-on-a-Chip: Developing and characterizing a multi-channels microfluidic device for studying tendon biology
This goal of this project is to refine and characterize a novel approach in designing microfluidic networks that allow to host tendon-like micro-tissue structures for long-term culturing experiments under mechanical stimulation.

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