During the past November, Soraia packed and moved into Lifetec labs for a long secondment with Dr Linda Kock and ESR Martina Puricelli. Lifetec and RVC share a common interest in the CarBon project: loading. Being interested in the osteochondral loading platform, Soraia tested the system using known inhibitors of growth and modulators of mTOR and NF-kB pathways that she already includes on her murine ex vivo studies. After a week of training on how to isolate the porcine plugs, keep sterility and test the loading platforms to be used, finally all plugs needed were isolated and cultured for 14 days on loaded and static protocols. During this period, training on GAG, DNA and NO assays also took place and were performed on the samples after the endpoint. Histology and micro-CT assessment will be carried out after at the RVC to complete the experiment.

It was a very successful secondment; everything that ESRs Soraia and Martina established to accomplish was possible and it marked the starting point of a collaboration with the two labs on loading, endochondral ossification and growth.

After lab hours there was still some time left to explore The Netherlands and its beautiful cities: