Saarland University in beautiful southwest Germany is internationally renowned for its life and nano sciences in addition computer science research. The university’s close ties with France and their European focus are further hallmarks. The scientists at Saarland University work closely with the top-class research institutes on and around the campus in the life sciences, especially medicine, pharmacy and biology, as well as the natural sciences. There are over six hundred researchers and approximately eight hundred scientists conducting research on the two university campuses in Saarbrücken and in Homburg. Materials science and technology is another primary focus of the university, with around three hundred researchers within that field of study. The university and the research institutes have diverse international contacts and offer students and doctoral candidates, therefore fostering an inspiring environment. USAAR has an exceptional and longstanding expertise in modeling pathways related to articular cartilage damage and repair with a specific focus on molecular therapies in fundamental and translational cartilage defect and osteoarthritis (OA) models.
Role within SINPAIN
USAAR will be leading the in vivo validation of the project Work Package 5 (WP5) by developing a relevant model of osteoarthritis (OA) induced in adult rabbits via anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) versus sham operation (task 5.1). This model will be used for the preclinical validation of the nanotherapeutics by intra-articular injection in rabbits to monitor their effects on cartilage OA degradation, subchondral bone microstructure, and synovial inflammation at early (3 weeks) and late (6 months) time points (task 5.2). Toxicology studies will be performed in this model by assessing body weight measure, joint swelling, moving pain (gait analysis), histopathology of chondrocytes, matrix, OA signs, acute and chronic synovitis, and subchondral bone alterations (task 5.3).