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Meet the teams: Achilles

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

Achilles team is composed of one PhD candidate from the MIT Portugal Program and three students of the Integrated Master in Bioengineering at the University of Porto and is supervised by Professor Manuela Gomes (3B’s Research Group, University of Minho, Portugal). The main objective of their project is to investigate the potential of hypergravity to be used as a tool to develop novel tissue engineering strategies for tendon regeneration.

Unraveling the combined influence of hypergravity, topography and biochemical cues on tendon cell behavior

Final Report: Download
University University of Minho and University of Porto 
Endorsing professor Manuela Gomes, University of Minho
Pedro Granja, University of Porto
Team Raquel Almeida, Daniel Carvalho, Miguel Ferreira, Elsa Silva
Achilles team
Achilles team

Tendon injuries affect athletes, active working people and the elderly population, being responsible for substantial pain and disability worldwide. Tendons are responsible for transmitting mechanical forces between muscles and bones, assuring body movement. These tissues are mainly composed of an organized extracellular matrix network maintained by tenocytes, the resident fibroblast-like cell population.

Dried membrane
Dried membrane

Current therapeutic approaches to tendon injury are inadequate; thus, tissue engineering strategies aiming to regenerate tendons and restoring their functionality are emerging as valuable options. One approach is to use bioactive patches that are able to promote and guide healing across a tendon defect. 

The strategy of the team focuses on the development of patterned membranes through the use of platelet lysates (PL) and to study the behavior of tendon-derived cells cultured on these surfaces under hypergravity conditions. In this work, exposure to different g-levels (10, 15 and 20g) and time-points will be evaluated using the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC). This project will provide new insights into  tendon cell mechanobiology and pave the way towards the generation of novel tendon regenerative therapies.

Tendon cells depositing collagen type 1 (green)
Tendon cells depositing collagen type 1 (green)

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