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New study to investigate impact of osteoarthritis on the joints

A new study will use pioneering technology to investigate how osteoarthritis impacts different joint structures.

Knee joint
Osteoarthritis affects different structures in the joint

Together with advancing a broader understanding of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system, the work will aim to understand what happens to various tissues in osteoarthritic joints at micro- and nano-structural levels.

It is being led by Dr Jasmine Samvelyan, a lecturer in biomedical science in the School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) who has been awarded a grant from the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

The work is in collaboration with Dr Lívia Rocha Dos Santos, a researcher in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology and also involves beamline scientists at the largest national imaging facility, Diamond Light Source.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic musculoskeletal disease that affects different structures in the joint causing significant pain and disability to millions of people worldwide.

Yet, the pathogenesis, cellular and molecular mechanisms of initiation and progression of osteoarthritis are not completely understood.

Dr Samvelyan, who leads the Musculoskeletal and Developmental Biology Research Group within ARU’s Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC), said: “In osteoarthritis, joints undergo structural deterioration. Current osteoarthritis treatments are limited, and we require new ways to identify those at risk of osteoarthritis to deliver effective personalised interventions.

“This project builds on my previous experience in understanding the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to people developing osteoarthritis. The aim of this study is to develop a novel osteoarthritis model to study structures and properties of joints in people with osteoarthritis and those without.”

Dr Rocha Dos Santos, a senior lecturer in mechanobiology and tissue engineering at Nottingham Trent University, said: “I am very pleased to be collaborating with Dr Samvelyan at the ARU School of Medicine. We will provide our specialist biosciences support facilities and expertise to support this important work in osteoarthritis, for which there are currently limited models.

“It is exciting to be supporting a project which has so much potential to expand our current understanding of the disease to enable significant benefits to people with osteoarthritis.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards). It was the University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with over 33,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 4,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries.

    In the past 15 years, NTU has invested £450 million in tools, technology and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2019 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is 4th globally (and 3rd in the UK) for sustainability in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

    About ARU

    Ranked in the world’s top 350 institutions in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, ARU is a global university transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research.

    ARU’s research institutes and four faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields.  We deliver impactful research which tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference to our communities.  Our academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 16 of our research areas assessed as world-leading.

    We are the largest provider of Nursing, Midwifery, Health and Social Care students in England, and we are among the UK’s leading universities for degree apprenticeship provision, working with hundreds of employers across the UK.

    In 2021, we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our world-leading music therapy work, and in particular for how our research has directly enhanced care for people living with dementia.

New study to investigate impact of osteoarthritis on the joints

Published on 16 June 2022
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Science and Technology

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