ESR 4 fellow
Work package 2 and 3
Madalena comes from Portugal. She gained her integrated master’s degree in biomedical engineering at the NOVA School of Science and Technology Lisbon. During her Bachelor’s internship, she was involved in analysis and validation of a glove that acquires physiological parameters associated with virtual reality in a clinical setting. She was enrolled for 5 months as an Erasmus master’s student in Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where she studied Technologies for Regenerative Medicine. Her master’s thesis in Portugal focused on the development of the dermal layer of a biosynthetic skin substitute and matrix-macrophages interactions.
PhD project: Examination of factors that promote the differentiation of mesenchymal cells to scar-free fibroblasts
Madalena works at Amsterdam UMC and is enrolled as a PhD student at the VU university in the Netherlands. She works in close collaboration with the Association of Dutch Burn Centers, also in the Netherlands. Fetal skin wounds heal scarlessly during early stages of development in contrast to adult full-thickness wounds where scar formation occurs. The microenvironment created by fetal mesenchymal cells (MCs) may direct these cells towards a scarless phenotype, in opposition to what happens in adult wounds.
Madalena’s project aims to investigate the differences between different mesenchymal cell populations (including fetal cells), with a particular focus on the ECM they secrete, and their correlation to scar formation. In the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany, she learnt more about proteomics and applies this technique to her project. Next, she investigates the wound environment, with a special focus on the ECM impact on the phenotype of mesenchymal cells.
During her secondment in Paul Hartmann Group AG, Heidenheim, Germany, she gained a business perspective in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. She will conduct in vitro and ex vivo studies on Paul Hartmann’s wound dressings. Her project’s ultimate goal is to create a collagen scaffold functionalised with fetal components based on the results from her studies focused on mesenchymal cells and their secreted ECM, which will be conducted in collaboration with Radboudumc.
- Investigate the influence of various mesenchymal cell populations on scarring.
- Investigate the influence of the extracellular matrix, soluble factors and wound environment on scarring.
- Assess the in vitro anti-scarring potential of collagen scaffolds functionalised with fetal components.