Zebrafish Model

Key regulators of bone formation are highly conserved between mammals and teleosts. The corresponding orthologs share significant sequence similarities and an overlap in expression patterns when compared to mammals.

Cranial cartilage is the first skeletal structure to be detected as early as 3 days post-fertilization, while first calcified intramembranous bone structures start to form at about the same time.

Due to its rapid generation time, large offspring numbers, external development, transparency and the availability of genetic maps, the zebrafish is a very attractive model system to study the function of genes involved in bone formation.

Transgenic zebrafish lines represent unique tools to follow osteoblasts in vivo and to analyze their function in wild type or mutant backgrounds.

This animal model can be used to evaluate drug or treatment effects on cartilage and bone formation by measuring:

  • The intensity and progression of bone formation
  • Their level of ossification
  • The level of calcification
  • Morphometric analysis

Using this model, researchers from GIGA have evaluated the physiological consequences of altered gravity on bone formation and more generally on whole genome gene expression.

For more info on our zebrafish facility, click here.

Stability testing

Stability testing is performed after storage in defined conditions according to standard and accelerated ICH conditions. We provide you with different range of storage conditions. All storage rooms are fully-controlled with 24/7 monitoring and alert systems.

Our services include:

  • Support in designing studies for real-time
  • Development and validation of “stability indicating methods”
  • Examination of stability-relevant parameters (temperature – humidity)
  • Interim reports for every testing period
  • Comprehensive final report

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Computational models for tissue engineering

One of the major challenges in tissue engineering is the translation of biological knowledge on complex cell and tissue behavior into a predictive and robust engineering process. Mastering this complexity is an essential step towards clinical applications of tissue engineering. In order to tackle these issues, researchers at GIGA are developping computational models that can help in:

  • Quantifying and optimizing the tissue engineering product, e.g. by adapting scaffold design to optimize micro-environmental signals or by adapting selection criteria to improve homogeneity of the selected cell population
  • Quantifying and optimizing the tissue engineering process, e.g. by adapting bioreactor design to improve quality and quantity of the final product
  • Assessing the influence of the in vivo environment on the behavior of the tissue engineering product, e.g. by investigating vascular ingrowth

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward collaborating with you!

Spontaneous osteoarthritis Guinea pig model

This guinea pig model mirrors the histopathological characteristics observed in human disease. The joint pathology in both guinea pig and human is age-related and linked to a diversity of risk factors such as body weight, mechanical load and high bone turnover. It is characterized by an early collagen fibril disruption occurring in articular cartilage, bone cysts, subchondral bone thickening and osteophytes are preceding histological proteoglycan loss and fibrillation.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Osteoarthritis rabbit model

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a slowly progressing, degenerative disorder of synovial joints culminating in the irreversible destruction of articular cartilage and subchondral bone.

Acute anterior crucial ligament (ACL) injury has been shown to be a significant risk factor for the development of secondary OA.

In this model, OA is surgically induced by the transection of the ACL and offers herewith the opportunity to study the contributing factors (such as joint instability, changes in kinematics, and tissue degradative pathways) in the pathogenesis of OA following injury.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Model-based therapeutics

By combining mathematical models and experimental and/or clinical data, we have built “virtual patients”. A virtual patient represents a specific patient in a particular state relative to the system modeled (e.g. metabolic, cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal).

These virtual patients are useful to:

  • Implement bedside decision-support clinical systems
  • Safely and rapidly design, prototype and optimize treatment protocols
  • Optimize glycemic control and mechanical ventilation strategies in critically ill patients
  • Propose innovative therapeutic solutions to bone fractures in patient with genetic diseases and experiencing healing difficulties

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward collaborating with you!

Drug administration & Patient monitoring

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  • Centralized clinical unit with 30 equipped hospital beds
  • Experience in running different study types and trial design
  • Different types of drugs like NCE and NBE
  • Database of more than 2.700 healthy and reliable volunteers
  • Privileged access to medical and technical expertise of CHU and ULg (such as Cyclotron, GIGA, CIP, Sleep Center, Pain clinic…)

We offer you a professional and scientific support to conduct clinical trials and the decision making processes during the early phases of the development of new molecules. This includes clinical pharmacology trials giving an insight into a drug candidate’s safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].


Radiotracers

GIGA researchers have developed the 18F-FB-mini-PEG-E[c(RGDyK)](2), 18F-FPRGD2, a radiopharmaceutical targeting the integrin αvβ3, a transmembrane heterodimeric receptor regulating cell interaction with the extracellular matrix (ECM). The interaction site of integrin αvβ3 with ECM is a tripeptide sequence arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) present in a wide range of ECM molecules including fibronectin, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, thrombospondin, vitronectin, tenascin, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein.

They have recently reported the osteoarticular uptake of 18F-FPRGD2 in a large cohort of 61 patients primarily studied for oncologic purposes. The results were the first showing the systematic analysis 18F-FPRGD2 uptake in the musculoskeletal system. Their data clearly identified a homogeneous binding of the 18F-FPRGD2 within structures that anatomically correspond to the cartilage surrounding the femoral head of an osteoarthritic hip. They have observed similar global fixation of the tracer on the entire degenerated disc.

Highlighting the role of integrins in osteoarthritis development opens the door to osteoarthritis diagnosis using in vivo non-invasive and quantitative imaging technology.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Biomarker discovery platform

We acquired a solid expertise in the field of clinical proteomics for biomarker and the discovery of new therapeutic targets in many types of biological matrices (plasma, serum, synovial fluids and tissues [biopsies, FFPE tissue sample]). We focus on rheumatic diseases (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, pseudarthrosis).

We can provide complete proteomics solution for companion biomarker discovery and validation. The analysis and study design are applied by experts in the fields of proteomic data interpretation and with a critical view of the clinical and pathological context. This multidisciplinary team of experts can help to speed up research project and to gain further knowledge about clinical trial sample cohorts.

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward collaborating with you!

Selective glucocorticoid receptor agonists

Glucocorticoids (GC) are potent anti-inflammatory drugs widely used to induce remission in rheumatoid arthritis or to treat an acute flair-up in osteoarthritis.

Unfortunately, GC contribute to adverse events giving rise to metabolic syndromes such as diabetes and weight gain, leading sometimes to a high morbidity. Accordingly, we focus on new molecules, namely selective glucocorticoid receptor agonists (SEGRAs), with a better benefit/risk ratio compared to GC. Anti-inflammatory and anti-metabolic properties of SEGRAs are evaluated in vitro on human joint cells.

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward collaborating with you!