Collagen type I is the most prominent protein in the matrix of bone tissue that will be mineralized in the process of bone development. The bone forming cells, osteoblasts, are responsible for the collagen deposition. The osteoblasts can further differentiate into osteocytes that have significant roles in bone maintenance. During the differentiation process and the secretion of collagen type-I, the cells also secret non-collagenous proteins (NCPs) that regulate the process of collagen mineralization and without them mineralization will not take place. However, little is known about the way by which the NCPs regulate collagen mineralization. E.g., their role, location, expression and deposition in the collagen matrix. To unravel the role of NCPs in mineralization of collagen, confocal fluorescence microscopy is used to track the time of NCP expression and their location in the cellular and extracellular matrix. Mineralization of collagen in the presence of different proteins is characterized as well using confocal microscopy. Moreover, 3D FIB-SEM serial surface view is used to investigate the morphological changes of the cells in high resolution during the formation and transition from osteoblast to osteocyte.
Sana Ansari has a Bachelor degree in Materials Science and Engineering and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from AmirKabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. During her Master project, she focused on simultaneous effects of hydrostatic pressure and dexamethsone on chondrocytes, the cartilage specific cells, with osteoarthritis indications. In July 2018, Sana joined Nico Sommerdijk's and Sandra Hofmann's group at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her project is a collaboration between Chemical Engineering and Chemistry department and Biomedical Engineering department and her goal is to understand the bone formation process and the role of non-collagenous proteins on mineralization of collagen.
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