Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent joint disease in the Netherlands. Osteoarthritis is very complex disease with multiple causes. The inability to find a cure for osteoarthritis can be explained by the complexity of the disease and the differences in course of the disease. To better understand the disease, cartilage models are required in which were can mimic osteoarthritis to subsequently study the processes causing the disease. This research shows that a human 3D cartilage model can be exposed to physical overloads, an key factor contributing to development of osteoarthritis. Subsequently, the contributions of overload, but also inflammation, to disturbing a certain process strongly involved in osteoarthritis, named Wnt signaling. Specifically, a new role for CCN4/WISP1, a part of Wnt signaling, in osteoarthritis was identified.
Ritchie Timmermans (1992) obtained his Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2017. In 2018, he started with his PhD research at the department of Experimental Rheumatology of Radboud university medical center and the section Molecular Epidemiology within the department of Biomedical Data Sciences of LUMC. Currently, he is working as a drug research assessor for the medical ethical committee of the Amsterdam UMC.