Articular cartilage is an amazing tissue which facilitates smooth and pain free movement over a lifetime. Articular cartilage is avascular, aneural and alymphatic. It has a complex zonal structure and composition, which provides it with its functional properties (low-friction, ability to sustain high loads) and longevity. However, when mature cartilage breaks down or degrades, it has a limited healing capacity.
In our research, we aim to understand how articular cartilage attains its complex zonal structure and composition over postnatal development. We are also investigating how and why immature articular cartilage heals, while mature cartilage does not. The research is a close collaboration with Prof Pieter Brama. Members of the team working on this project are Karin Vancíková and Sarah Moore.