Marenzana:People

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People at Marenzana Lab - Skeletal Pathomechanobiology


Who we are ...

Massimo Marenzana - Principal Investigator

Lecturer on a joint appointment between the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumathology at the University of Oxford. His research is concerned with the mechanisms by which mechanical stimuli regulate skeletal tissue remodelling and how extra-skeletal biochemical signals interact with this built-in mechano-adaptive responses. His in vivo studies investigated how estrogen and changes in the sympathetic tone differently affect the adaptive response to overloading and absence of loading (disuse). Subsequently sclerostin signaling, an osteocyte specific mechano-regulated cytokine, became the focus of his researches and was studied in different anaimal models of musculoskeletal diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and chronic inflammatory colitis. His most recent research has expanded to the study of the role of interaction between bone and cartilage in osteorthritis from a mechanical coupling as well as molecular signaling point of view. Additional interests include the development of mechanotronic technologies to induce controlled mechanical loading on in vivo models and in vitro cultured tissue . For the determination of tissue remodelling he has focused particularly on microCT imaging with and without contrast enhancement and quantitative image analysis.

Stephanie Gohin - Post Doctoral Research Associate

After completing her PhD in physiology in 2011, my project under the direction of Dr Massimo Marenzana and Prof Tim Arnett (University College London) aims to understand the role of blood flow in the regulation of the bone metabolism in health and pathology (osteoporosis). More precisely the impact of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) on the bone blood perfusion and angiogenesis. Synthetic PTH is currently the only clinically approved anabolic treatment for bone in osteopororis patients. This project aims to clarify a potential complementary mode of action of PTH through regulating intra-osseous blood flow. The project is supported by Arthritis Research UK Project grant for 2 years.

Patrícia das Neves Borges - PhD Student

PhD Student in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. Her research project investigates the biomechanical and biochemical changes in the subchondral bone plate in murine models of osteoarthritis (OA) with the overarching aim to improve the current understanding of the role of periarticular bone in the OA pathogenesis. She works mainly with image analysis from different techniques to quantify the microstructural osteoarthritic changes that occur on subchondral bone to correlate them with cartilage loss.

Pedro Catão Richtmann, International Exchange Student

Undergraduate student from the Faculty of Engieenring in San Paolo, Brazil. His 6-months sponsored project involves the design and realisation of a non invasive knee joint loading device allowing to apply cyclic compressive loading to the knee joint of mice for the study of the mechanobiology of osteoarthritis. The novelty of the design lies in the possibility of changing the knee flexion angle prior to apply the loading cycles.

Yuqiao Zheng, MSc Student in Bioengineering

MSc student who joined the Marenzana lab for his MSc project. He studied the changes in the microporosity of subchondral bone induced by the progression of osteoarthritis and implemented a computer simulation to predict the effect of such structural changes on the diffusion of signaling molecules from cartilage to bone.

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