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Emerging themes in translational tendon science

The 1st Tendon UK meeting will be hosted by the University of Oxford at Worcester College. The focus of the meeting is translational, so topics will range from pathogenic mechanisms of tendon disease through physics and mechanics of tendon, biomaterials, bioreactors and the state of play in clinical trials. Interested principal investigators, postdocs and students are all welcome to attend.

Confirmed invited speakers: Prof Michael Kjaer, Dr Neal Millar, Prof Dawn Elliott, Prof Jess Snedeker, Prof Karl Kadler, Prof Matt Dalby, Prof David Butler, Prof Hazel Screen and Prof Sarah Waters. 


The Tendon UK 2018 Organising Committee are:

Stephanie Dakin

Sarah Snelling

Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy

Philippa Hulley

Jonathan Cook

Mark Thompson

Accepted abstracts will be published in Translational Sports Medicine.





Worcester College is located in the centre of Oxford on the junction of Beaumont Street, Walton Street and Worcester Street. The college is just across the road from the main bus and coach station, and is a 10 minute walk from the railway station and main shopping areas. Further information on the location and access to the college can be found here.

Information about how to get to Oxford is available on the University website here.

Please note that there will be no parking available at Worcester College. Information about where to find car parks in Oxford can be found here.

On arrival:

When arriving at Worcester College, please report to the Porters' Lodge, on the right just inside the main entrance. If you have booked a room, keys and instructions to access it will be provided to you. Check-in is normally after 2pm.

Assistance and/or advice for visitors with disabilities can be sought from the Porters' Lodge.

Wednesday 11th April 2018 

10-11am Registration, Coffee

11.15am Welcome (Prof Andrew Carr, Oxford)

11.30-1pm Session 1 Disease  Mechanism (Chair: Prof Stephanie Dakin) 

The aim of this session is to highlight the recent advances in understanding the disease mechanisms underpinning tendon disorders. The complex and multifactorial nature of tendinopathy remains to be fully elucidated and has hampered efforts to develop new and efficacious therapies. This session will highlight recent research on the physiology and pathology of tendon disorders, with a particular focus on exercise and inflammation. These recent advances help to inform the development of rehabilitation regimes and new pharmacological approaches that address the underlying pathobiology of tendon disorders. 

Dr Neal Millar (Glasgow) (20 minutes) Translational targets in tendinopathy: microRNA29a and Interleukin 17

Prof Michael Kjaer (Copenhagen) (20 minutes) Regulation of physiological and pathological tendon adaptation to exercise

Prof Stephanie Dakin (Oxford) (20 minutes) Inflammation and resolution in human tendon disease

2 x 8 min presentations from selected abstracts:

Young Investigator - Lindsay Crowe (Glasgow) Alarmins S100A8 & S100A9 modulate the inflammatory microenvironment in early tendinopathy

Young Investigator - Adam EM Jørgensen (Copenhagen) Carbon-14 bomb pulse reveals abnormal tendon collagen turnover before symptoms of tendinopathy 

1-2pm Lunch break and posters 

2-3.30pm Session 2 Tendon Physics and Mechanics (Chair: Prof Mark Thompson) 

The aim of this session is to highlight recent progress in understanding the fundamental physics and mechanics of tendon damage and homeostasis. We will bring together expertise on microstructural mechanisms for mechanical damage, on microstructural modification in disease and on collagen formation to provide novel insight into disease aetiology and the potential for mechanobiologically inspired disease modifying therapies. 

Prof Dawn Elliott (University of Delaware) Multi scale biomechanics of tendon damage

Prof Jess Snedeker (Zurich) Biomechanics of AGE cross links in tendon

Prof Karl Kadler (Manchester) (20 minutes) Collagen fibrillar formation and structure 

2 x 8 min presentations from selected abstracts:

Rene Svensson (Copenhagen) Multiscale force transmission in tendon collagen

Nathalie Crevier-Denoix (Alfort) Tendon speed of sound changes with training: preliminary study in 9 trotters 

3.30-4.15pm Coffee break

4.15-5.30pm Session 3: Young Investigator Session Chairs: Prof Philippa Hulley (Oxford) and Prof Graham Riley (Norwich) 

6 x 8 min presentations from selected abstracts:

Young Investigator - Angelina D. Schoenenberger (Zurich) Impact of mechanical load on the cell response to inflammatory signals in a tendinopathy model

Young Investigator - Wataru Morita (Oxford) Differential expression of TGF-beta and BMPs in healthy and diseased tendon stromal cells

Young Investigator - Stefania Wunderli (Zurich) maintenance or loss of extracellular matrix mechanical integrity in tendon is niche-dependent

Young Investigator - Fabian Passini (Zurich) Quantification of mechanically-triggered calcium signalling in tendons

Young Investigator - Antonis Giannopoulos (Copenhagen) Altered viscoelastic properties and cell responses in human tendon constructs

Young Investigator - Adam Janvier (Liverpool) 3D printed bioreactors for tendon engineering: characterising load induced changes by the ‘collagen barcode’ 

6.30-7.30pm Pre-dinner drinks at University College

7.30pm Dinner at University College


Thursday 12th April 2018 

9-10.30am Session 4 Biomaterials and cell-matrix interactions (Chair: Dr Sarah Snelling) 

The aim of this session is to highlight the ability of biomaterials to regulate the behaviour of the diverse range of cells present in tendon. We will bring together expertise from tendon tissue engineering and from other tissues amenable to these approaches. We will discuss key factors to consider when designing and testing biomaterials for tendon repair.

Prof Matt Dalby (Glasgow) (20 minutes) How material properties shape cell response

Dr Sarah Snelling (Oxford) (20 minutes) Biomaterials & Tendon - past, present and future perspectives

2 x 8 min presentations from selected abstracts:

Young Investigator - Edward Stace (Oxford) Healthy and diseased tendon fibroblasts respond differently to electrospun biomaterials

Young Investigator – Amro Hussein (Zurich) Elevated matrix tension drives a myofibroblastic phenotype in tissue engineered tendons

10.30-11.15 Coffee break and posters

11.15 – 12.45 Session 5 Bioreactors in Tendon Tissue Engineering (Chair: Dr Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy) 


Tissue engineering is a promising strategy for the repair of tendon defects and it is enabled by the development of bioreactors, which are controlled environments maintaining suitable culture conditions for tissue constructs. The aim of this session is to discuss the existing bioreactor designs used in tendon tissue engineering and to identify aspects requiring improvements for producing grafts that are clinically relevant. In particular, we will highlight the role of mechanical stimulation and mass transfer in the bioreactor chamber. We will also stress the importance of mathematical and computational modelling to accelerate the development of bioreactors.

Prof David Butler (Cincinnati) (20 minutes) History, rationale and prospects for tendon bioreactors

Prof Hazel Screen (London) (20 minutes) Mechanobiology in tendon tissue engineering: identifying & recapitulating cellular strains

Prof Sarah Walters (Oxford) (20 minutes) Mathematical modeling for bioreactor design 

12.45-2pm Lunch break and posters 

2pm-3.30pm Session 6 Clinical Trials and Translating Science to the Clinic (Chair: Prof Jonathan Cook) 

The aim of this session is to consider clinical evidence on the use of novel medical devices in the treatment of tendinopathy. This will be mainly be through presenting the findings of a recent systematic review of clinical studies of patch augmented rotator cuff surgery and also by presenting an overview of the considerations for conducting a first in human trials of new bioactive impacts in this area.

Prof Jonathan Cook (Oxford) (20 minutes) Systematic review of clinical studies of patch augmented rotator cuff surgery

Prof Andrew Carr (Oxford) (20 minutes) First in man trials of bioactive implants for tendon repair

2 x 8 min presentations from selected abstract:

Hayley Morris (Oxford) Translation of tendon biomaterials to the clinic: Bioyarn case study

Young Investigator - J Thompson (Oxford) Objective muscle test in a multi-centre trial on platelet- rich plasma in Achilles tendon injury

3.30pm Final Discussion and close of meeting 


Tendon UK Poster  


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