From cell therapy to joint function – adaptation in regenerative therapies
The aim of this focus area is to understand the link between local muscle adaptations following cell therapy with the central control of functional recovery using total hip replacement as a model system.
Muscle regeneration is subject to tissue adaptation in processes that involve regenerative cascades. Abductor muscle insufficiency, generally present in patients after total hip replacement, results in control and movement deficits that could be reduced through regenerative therapies. The regeneration of the muscles can take place at different levels, with structural changes and changes in sensory information. These changes directly affect the functional outcome during daily activities and significantly influence the mobility and the quality of life of the patients. Cell therapies aim at locally stimulating tissue adaptations but also require adaptation on a central control level. There is a need to elucidate the efficacy of such cell therapy approaches by assessing the functional ability of patients and linking the gross anatomical functional adaptations to the local effects of tissue regeneration following pluripotent cell injection. Using total hip replacement patients as an example group, muscle regeneration is stimulated using injected multipotent cells (Perka’s lab). The muscle degeneration status will be characterised (Spuler’s lab) and compared to the adaptive response following surgery and cell injection. Local immune-modulation (Volk’s, Reinke’s labs) will be compared to structural adaptation of muscle tissue (Arampatzis’ lab) with functional outcome parameters (Schmidt's lab). Motor responses from local postural actions (e.g. tracking motor tasks at the hip joint) as well as from global postural tasks (e.g. walking, obstacle avoidance) will be examined (Arampatzis’ lab). Such comparison of local muscle adaptation and central adaptation of functional parameters will allow the unravelling of the interaction of local changes in tissue structure with the changes to the centrally regulated neuromuscular control.