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ARU researcher to conduct study into osteoarthritis

Published: 15 June 2022 at 14:00

A picture of a man's knee with the joints lit up

Dr Samvelyan receives funding to investigate impact of osteoarthritis on the joints

Dr Jasmine Samvelyan, a Lecturer in Biomedical Science in the School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has been awarded a grant from Higher Education Innovation Fund to study how osteoarthritis impacts different joint structures.

Together with advancing a broader understanding of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system, Dr Samvelyan will use pioneering imaging technology to understand what happens to various tissues in osteoarthritic joints at micro- and nano-structural levels.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic musculoskeletal disease that affects different structures in the joint causing significant pain and disability to millions of people worldwide. Yet, the pathogenesis, cellular and molecular mechanisms of initiation and progression of osteoarthritis are not completely understood.

Dr Samvelyan, who leads the Musculoskeletal and Developmental Biology Research Group within ARU’s Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC), said:

“In osteoarthritis, joints undergo structural deterioration. Current osteoarthritis treatments are limited, and we require new ways to identify those at risk of osteoarthritis to deliver effective personalised interventions. 

“This project builds on my previous experience in understanding the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to people developing osteoarthritis. The aim of this study is to develop a novel osteoarthritis model to study structures and properties of joints in people with osteoarthritis and those without.”

The research project will be undertaken in collaboration with Dr Lívia Rocha Dos Santos in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology and will also involve beamline scientists at the largest national imaging facility, Diamond Light Source.

Dr Rocha Dos Santos, Senior Lecturer in Mechanobiology and Tissue Engineering at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) said:

“I am very pleased to be collaborating with Dr Samvelyan at the ARU School of Medicine. We will provide our specialist biosciences support facilities and expertise to support this important work in osteoarthritis, for which there are currently limited models. 

“It is exciting to be supporting a project which has so much potential to expand our current understanding of the disease to enable significant benefits to people with osteoarthritis.”