The impact of cellular organization in 3D tissue on the healing capacity of tendon-derived cells

In collaboration with the lab of Prof Jess Snedeker, University Hospital Balgrist / ETH Zürich.

Tendinopathy associates with a change from a healthy tissue with aligned ECM and highly polarized cells that are connected head-to-tail, towards a diseased tissue with a disorganized ECM and randomly distributed cells. It remains unknown however, how this altered configuration, especially of the cells, affects their capacity functional repair/remodeling of the affected tissue. A 3D tissue model system is exploited with a gradient in cellular organization from highly aligned (healthy) towards disorganized (isotropic). The aim is to unravel whether the progressive disorganization of the ECM, as observed in chronic tendinopathy, may be related to the poor regenerative capacity of the resident cells.