Claire Polain

PhD Student

Improving bone regeneration in osteoporosis using chemically modified mRNA

Claire started her BA in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University in 2014, and majored in Molecular Life Sciences. During her MA in Biomedical Sciences she specialized in Regenerative Medicine, including two internships at MERLN focussing on the amelioration of embryonic stem cell aggregation to form embryonic organoids, and on the development of a tissue engineered anterior cruciate ligament.

In January 2020 she started her PhD at cBITE/IBE under supervision of Martijn van Griensven and Elizabeth Rosado Balmayor. The goal of her project is to improve bone regeneration using chemically modified mRNA. The healing of bone defects is a highly challenging process in cases such as osteoporosis. Typically, bone tissue engineering makes use of growth factors (BMPs) to induce bone formation, yet often these are used in a supraphysiological concentration and their effect lasts for a short period of time. Using gene therapy in the form of chemically modified mRNA in an activated matrix, she aims to overcome these issues, as the concentration and duration of the effect can be controlled.