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Catharina De Schauwer


+32 9 264 73 28

Catharina De Schauwer

Veterinary Stem Cell Research Unit

The general goal of our research group is to perform fundamental stem cell research in order to fully understand the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in (veterinary) medicine. As there is a marked disparity between the presumptive benefits of MSC therapy and the actual observed outcome in rigorously controlled scientific studies, more fundamental research is mandatory to provide proof of concept for current MSC-based therapies. To this end, a state-of-the-art lab was set up focusing on the isolation, characterization, differentiation and cryopreservation of MSC, isolated from different sources (including bone marrow, adipose tissue, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood and Wharton’s jelly) and in different species (including horse, dog, pig, sheep and cow). As the therapeutic potential of MSC is especially explored for tissue engineering purposes, we have a strong interdisciplinary focus, in which different types of cells (MSCs, endothelial cells, macrophages, fibroblasts, chondrocytes, osteocytes) are combined with an appropriate biomaterial. For the latter, we collaborate with prof. Sandra Van Vlierberghe of the Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group (Ghent University). Our current research focusses both on the myogenic differentiation potential of bovine MSC (with as ultimate goal the production of cultured meat) as well as the therapeutic potential of equine MSC to treat orthopedic injuries by developing representative in vitro models. As a commercial service, we also support you when you want to preserve the DNA of your animal, for example for cloning.

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