Our project is centered around autoimmune disorders. More specifically, we want to look at both Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. While they are both autoimmune conditions, they affect the bodies in different ways. Rheumatoid Arthritis primarily affects the joints and causes inflammation and bone cartilage damage within the joints. Meanwhile, multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system, including the brain, and causes the demyelination of nerves. While these two diseases may appear to have nothing in common other than that they are caused when the immune system begins attacking the body, they share one other important similarity, neither of them are curable and they is no way of reversing the damage caused by either disorder.
There are some studies that have seen promising results in the regeneration of tissues affected by these disorders. One such study has found a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis that is currently in the first stage of clinical trials (Vala et al 2018). The study has found promising results in the stimulation of axon remyelination (Vala et al 2018). While there are far less promising studies in the reparation of tissue damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis, one study found that mesenchymal stem cells may be a possible treatment in the future because they can not only “develop into joint tissues,” but also have “immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory qualities” (Leigheb et al 2018). I’m hoping to explore the existing treatment options for the two autoimmune disorders, as well as the possible application of innovations like tissue engineering as possible ways of reversing damage they cause.
Vala, M., et al. (2018) Surface plasmon resonance sensing on naturally derived membranes: A remyelination-promoting human antibody binds myelin with extraordinary affinity. Analytical Chemistry. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.analchem.8b02664
Leigheb, M., Borrone, A., et al. (2017, October 18). Chondral tissue engineering of the rheumatoid knee with collagen matrix autologous chondrocytes implant. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29083361