Regenerative Medicine Utrecht

Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneraton

Interveterbral disc regeneration

We design our research with bench to bedside in mind.

Read about Marianna Tryfonidou’s research.


In my group we pursue translation of regenerative treatment strategies for degenerative diseases including back pain and osteoarthritis. These two major musculoskeletal disorders are commonly encountered in human, canine, and equine patients causing extensive disability and reduced quality of life. On the course of development and translation we combine our multidisciplinary background involving extensive experience with animal models (experimental animals and veterinary patients), unique expertise for biomolecular techniques of “non-human species” like the dog and downstream bio-informatics analysis. New treatment strategies implement innovative technological platforms, including drug delivery systems enabling controlled release and personalized 3-D printed constructs. Results of in vitro and in vivo studies are interpreted with a clinical directive and experiments are designed with the translation from bench to bed in mind.

Our key-role is emphasized, amongst others, in the successful collaboration with colleagues from the RMCU, UMCU, including the Dept. Orthopaedics and Dept. Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, world leading research groups in the field of cartilage research and joint distraction, respectively. Translation is based upon a unique preclinical platform which has been successfully employed for the validation of biomaterials that enable controlled release of anti-inflammatory medication and growth factors (IDiDAS, BMM and ArIADNE, Life Sciences Health initiative).

In basic research, we employ development biology and the divergence seen within the canine species to identify and validate regenerative targets by means of “omics” (RNAseq and recently proteomics). Within the ‘William Hunter revisited’ consortium (STW) we study how joint distraction facilitates intrinsic cartilage repair. Ongoing studies funded by the AO Spine Research Network focus on notochordal cell-based technology and tissue-specific progenitor cells. My research group, in collaboration with TU Eindhoven (Prof dr K Ito), pioneers within the international spine society by studying separately the soluble bioactive factors and vesicles secreted by notochordal cells.