An osteoblast/osteoclast co-culture model to study menopause related osteoporosis.

Menopause marks the final menstrual period in a woman’s life. In the period preceding menopause, called perimenopause, a shift in hormonal balance occurs. While some women go through this period uneventfully, others experience negative consequences that affect their physical health and workability. One of the physical health risks is an increased chance of osteoporosis.  Hormonal changes during the perimenopausal cause women to lose bone mass at a rate that corresponds to 5-10 years of normal aging, increasing the lifetime fracture risk to nearly 50%. In the graduation project, the student will focus on a better understanding of the pathophysiology of accelerated bone loss.  To study pathophysiological mechanisms, human cell culture models are an important tool to allow better translation to the clinical situation in comparison to animal models. Microfluidic co-culture models resemble the in vivo situation in human bone compared to conventional separate cell culture models. Therefore, the student will establish a microfluidic osteoblast/osteoclast co-culture model that will be used to study osteoporosis on a chip. The microfluidic co-culture will be compared to conventional separate culture models . Subsequently, the effect of estradiol will be determined with different assays (focusing on differentiation, function, bone formation, downstream effects, and receptors.)

Educational programs:
– Biomedical Lab Research (for the core task Research and Innovation)

Interested, please send your motivation letter and CV before 3 June 2024 to Petra Juffer (