Team Matrix is a group within the Gemstone Honors Program Class of 2018. The purpose of our research is to find a more optimal treatment for osteoarthritis using a targeted cell therapy approach. Currently, approximately 50% of Americans are expected to develop a symptom of OA within their lifetime. This rate is only expected to increase over time because of the increased prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and longer life expectations. Current treatments only alleviate symptoms and help patients manage their pain, but never fully eradicate the disease. Since mature articular cartilage does not organically regenerate, our project aims to find an optimal treatment to regenerate articular cartilage and reverse the effects of osteoarthritis. Extracellular vesicles are lipid structures that transfer molecules between cells. Manipulating the contents of these vesicles creates targeted therapies with increased absorption rates. Our research seeks to find the optimal combination of extracellular vesicle and loaded cargo to create a targeted therapy to regenerate cartilage.
Team Matrix is comprised of 11 members. The team was assembled in April 2015 and will continue research until April 2018. Each team member has a unique background, with majors ranging from Biology and Engineering to Finance and Government, but are all passionate about finding a cure for osteoarthritis. The team mentor is Dr. Steven Jay, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering. Aside from academic interests, each team member is also an active member of the University of Maryland community, such as Greek life, club sports, and various charity and outreach programs. Despite our various backgrounds, each team member plays a unique role in finding a cure for osteoarthritis.
We have presented our Thesis Proposal and are finally ready to begin our research, and we need your help to get started! We are aiming to raise $5,000 this month. That money will significantly further our research and allow us to purchase necessary materials such as stem cells, chondrocytes, assay kits, miRNA cargo, and cell culture media. All of these materials play an integral role in our research. With a total project budget of over $10,000, donations of any size are welcome and appreciated!
Visit our website: http://gemsteammatrix.weebly.com
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