Marianna Tryfonidou
“We use cultivated stem cells to repair intervertebral discs”

Dr Marianna Tryfonidou is a specialist veterinary surgeon for companion animals and researcher into tissue regeneration. She works in the Orthopaedics section of the department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals. Tryfonidou researches tissue regeneration, specifically for intervertebral discs. Ageing and wear and tear results in deterioration of the quality of cells and their environment. She helps restore these by developing various strategies, such as the application of stem cells and/or factors that encourage cells to regenerate their environment. Her patients are dogs, but the results of her research may also be used to help people in future.

“My research won’t just find a solution for dogs, but for humans too”

Tryfonidou’s research into back problems among dogs forms part of a close collaboration between the Orthopaedics department at the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Eindhoven University of Technology. Joining forces, the partner institutions are working on new treatment techniques that can tackle wear and tear in intervertebral discs at an early stage, with the aim of preventing the need for surgical intervention. The aim is to provide outpatient treatment for intervertebral discs using an injection which contains both a medical treatment and stem cells. This currently applies to dogs and hopefully eventually also to humans.

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