Locating the cells responsible for tendon repair and guiding their regeneration

Disease - Tendonitis

Lead applicant - Dr Chavaunne Thorpe

Organisation - The Royal Veterinary College

Type of grant - Career Development Fellowship

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £435,568.49

Start date - 15 November 2016

Reference - 21216

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This research project aims to establish the location and characteristics of cells called stem-progenitor cells which are responsible for repairing and maintaining tendon tissue.

Why is this research important?

Tendons connect muscle to bone and maintaining their function is essential for health. Age-related tendon injuries are common and often do not heal completely. Instead scar tissue forms, resulting in a high re-injury rate, long-term loss of function and pain. While studies show that stem-progenitor cells are present in the tendon, little is known about them, their location, and behaviour. This limits development of new treatments for tendon injury.

This study aims to improve our knowledge of the tendon stem-progenitor cells, by determining how these cells maintain healthy tendons and how they contribute to repairing tendons after injury. In the future, this will allow us to manipulate these cells to enhance healing and control renewal of tendons.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Long term, this research will benefit people with tendon injuries by contributing to the development of new effective cell-based therapies. It could also inform new physiotherapy practises for the treatment of these injuries.