Intervertebral disc (IVD) cells derived from degenerative tissue are unable to respond to physiologically relevant mechanical stimuli in a normal anabolic manner.
The Bae Laboratory is studying the regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteases in human nucleus pulposus cells in response to mechanical stimulation in a three-dimensional matrix. Furthermore, we are testing the efficacy of anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic peptides for a reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteases in these cells. Understanding the cell responses to relevant mechanical and biological stimuli will help us develop new treatment strategies for intervertebral disc degeneration.
Other research projects include:
- Development of novel scaffolds, clinical testing of recombinant proteins (e.g., rhBMP-2) and cell-based treatments for spinal fusion
- Development of biomaterials for repairing critical-size peripheral nerve injury