Ilze Donderwinkel

“Tissue-engineering the enthesis”

Co-supervisors: Rocky Tuan (CUHK) and Neil Cameron

Ilze received her M.Sc. in Molecular Life Sciences from Radboud University, Nijmegen, in 2017. During her studies, she investigated the role of drug transporters in proximal tubule epithelial cells in the excretion of uremic toxins under supervision of dr. Jitske Jansen and Prof.dr. Roos Masereeuw (RIMLS, Nijmegen), and worked on a polymer-based artificial antigen-presenting cell in the group of Jan van Hest (Radboud University), and on polymeric antibiotic delivery vehicles in the group of Prof. Neil Cameron (Monash University).

At the end of 2017, she joined the Frith lab at Monash University as a PhD student working on hydrogel scaffolds for enthesis repair. The enthesis is the attachment site of a tendon, ligament or joint capsule to bone. The bone-tendon interface transfers stress to the tendon or bone, and is therefore subject to wear and tear. Common and well-known injuries of the bone-tendon interface are the tennis elbow and jumper’s knee. As the enthesis does not restore to its natural anatomy after injury, there is an increase chance of re-injury and prolonged disability. The anatomy of the enthesis is complex, consisting of four zones within a length of 1 mm. The overarching goal of this project therefore, will be to develop a tissue engineered enthesis mimicking this complex native biochemical, biomechanical, and cellular properties of the different zones of the enthesis.