Research Impact Report - Project 533

Modelling enthesis development in vitro to produce anatomically and clinically relevant bone-tendon constructs for flexor tendon repair

Principal Investigator Christina Loukopoulou

Stream PhD

Duration 36 Months

Cost £75,000

Lay summary

The connection between the hard, rigid tissue of bone and the soft, stretchy tissue of tendon is very cleverly formed. Instead of a simple join between two parts, the connection, known as the enthesis, has a unique structure that allows the force of muscle movement to travel to the bone smoothly, reducing injury during activity. Although this works well normally, when tendons are injured and need surgical reattachment to the bone, the enthesis does not fix itself well and patients can suffer more pain and lack of movements that can really affect their day-to-day living. Tissue engineered models serve as an exciting and cost-effective way to study the unique structure of the enthesis in the laboratory to investigate ways to repair the connection between bone and tendon. It also may lead to the production of a new enthesis in the laboratory that could be implanted into patients following injury. 

Impact statement

Fundamental problem trying to address


Aims & Objectives

Intellectual property

Team members & other funders

PhD researcher: Christina Loukopoulou

Supervisory Team: Dr Jennifer Z Paxton, University of Edinburgh, Dr Jan Vorstius, University of Dundee, Miss Philippa Rust, NHS Lothian.

Other Funders and collaborators:


Laboratory currently funded by Medical Research Scotland, The Anatomical Society, The University of Edinburgh (Principal Career Development Scholarship and Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship).

Other team members;

  • Patricia Medesan (PhD student)
  • Vinothini Prabhakaran (PhD Student)






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