Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Intervertebral discs (IVD) are the major vertebral joints responsible for spinal motion. Lumbar IVDs undergo age- and non-age related degeneration, causing low back pain and neurological deficits. Mouse models are widely used in dissecting physiology and patholobiology due to versatile molecular tools available and other benefits. However, the mouse spine is considered to have limited relevance to IVD degeneration because of distinct IVD anatomy and cellular composition from the human counterpart.
This project aims to establish a mouse model with human-like IVD degeneration via an inducible gene ablation strategy. Furthermore, by crossing with specific strains, how intrinsic cartilage regeneration capacity can modify the degeneration phenotype will be investigated. Assessment will involve a spectrum of histological, molecular, and imaging methodologies. This investigation will generate an important platform to better understand IVD degeneration and enable cost-effective evaluation of regenerative strategies.
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