URAP

Linshanshan Wang

Cartilage permeability and disc degeneration

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability and is closely linked to disc degeneration. Intradiscal biologic therapy is a promising strategy for managing disc degeneration. However, an unresolved issue is whether a degenerated disc has adequate nutrient supply to support the higher metabolic demands required by these therapies. The overall premise of our project is that low cartilage endplate (CEP) permeability limits disc nutrient supply and cell function, and that we can identify patients with adequate nutrient supply who might benefit from intradiscal therapy through non-invasive assessment of CEP permeability. To do this, we’re combining newly developed MRI techniques with advanced quantitative analysis to assess how CEP permeability relates to the extent of disc degeneration.

Message to Sponsor

Participating in URAP through the semester has been one of the most rewarding experiences at Cal, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to to dedicate more time and effort to research during the summer. Working on this project has been an invaluable learning experience for me. I am very thankful to the generous donor for providing me this opportunity to fulfill my interests and grow as a researcher.
  • Major: Data Science, Molecular & Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Aaron Fields