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Research projects
Lab team
How to find us

    The musculoSKeletal Innovative research Lab (mSKIL - University of Liège, Belgium), previously known since 1995 as the Bone and Cartilage Research Unit, has joint the CIRM (Center for Interdisciplinary Research On Medicines) in 2019. Our lab is highly specialized in the pre-clinical and clinical investigation of drugs, food supplements and medical devices used in the treatment of MusculoSKeletal (MSK) disorders and rheumatic diseases, particularly in osteoarthritis, sarcopenia and intervertebral disk degeneration. We have an extensive expertise in the study of the pathophysiological events involved in these diseases, in the research of soluble biochemical markers and in the understanding of the mechanisms of action of treatments.

    In vitro and in vivo models

    mSKIL has developed innovative and elegant in vitro and in vivo models for studying MSK and rheumatic diseases. We have in vitro models and technologies for studying cytokines network, oxidative stress, senescence, cartilage repair and degradation, bone remodeling, synovial inflammation and skeletal muscle cells metabolism. It is expert in co-culture systems and in the culture of chondrocytes in hypoxic conditions and under mechanical strains (Flexercell system). He has developed an original culture model of osteoarthritic subchondral bone osteoblasts allowing the comparison of the sclerotic and nonsclerotic osteoblast responses to biochemical or mechanical stimuli. We have also elegant in vivo model for studying pain, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and intervertebral disk degeneration.

    Technological platform

    Thanks to our full access to all technological platforms of the GIGA (RNAseq , flow cytometry, proteomic, rodent and zebrafish animal facilities, up-to-date imaging...)., we can performed genomic, proteomic and metabolomics studies of conditioned culture medium, serum, plasma, synovial fluids or tissues.

    We have all devices in the lab to perform cell cultures, ELISA, western-blot, real time PCR and histological analysis. We also have a gait analysis system, CatWalk from Noldus, and a configurable mechanical tester, Mach-1 from Biomomentum. Furthermore, the lab is a member of CIRM (Center for Interdisciplinary Research On Medecines). Expertise of CIRM research unit is organized in three platforms, namely "Drug discovery platform", "Drug development and analytical platform" and "Clinical platform". Each of these platforms operates under specific quality systems (i.e. GMP, IMP, GLP, GCP or ISO).

    Furthermore, we have a great expertise in the diagnosis and follow-up of osteoarthritic patients, mainly by the measurements of cartilage and bone turnover markers in serum, urine and synovial fluid. We have conceptualized, developed and validated new biomarkers for evaluating oxidative-related cartilage degradation in serum, urine and synovial fluid. We actively collaborate to the transfer of these technologies in the industry.


    mSKIL at OARSI 2023 Denver!

    We are happy to share with you our posters that we presented last month at OARSI 2023 congress!

    Gene therapy in osteoarthritis: a scoping review

    Osteomodulin is involved in bone and cartilage homeostasis and osteoarthritis development

    Deciphering urolithins A and B activities on muscle: transcriptomic modulation on human primary myotubes

     All news






    COST Association consortium European Cooperation in Science and Technology Action "CA21110 - Building an open European Network on OsteoArthritis research - netwOArk" 2022-2026

    Sylvia Nuernberger (Austria), Yves Henrotin (Belgium), Victoria Stepan Sarafian-Ozanian (Bulgaria), Ali Mobasheri (Finland), Francis Berenbaum (France), Jerome Guicheux (France), Girish Pattappa (Germany), Oliver Pullig (Germany), Anastasia Detsi (Greece), Christos Kontogiorgis (Greece), Peter Balint (Hungary), Csaba Matta (Hungary), Brian Caulfield (Ireland), Tom Moore (Ireland), Riccardo Ferracini (Italy), Valerija Groma (Latvia), Eiva Bernotiene (Lithuania), Melissa Formosa (Malta), Sita Bierma-Zeinstra (Netherlands), João Rodrigues (Portugal), Irsay Laszlo (Romania), Luminita Labusca (Romania), Milica Kovacevic Filipovic (Serbia), Predrag Ostojic (Serbia), Urban Simoncic (Slovenia), Raquel Cantero (Spain), Josep Vergés Milano (Spain), Cecilia Aulin (Sweden), Josefine Eriksson Naili (Sweden), Valentina Basoli (Switzerland), Zhen Li (Switzerland), Ayça Bal Öztürk (Turkey), Feza Korkusuz (Turkey), Philip Conaghan (UK)

    BoneRec consortium The BoneRec project aims to develop a new tissue-engineered product indicated for bone reconstruction - BioWin 2020-2023

    Cerhum, Bone Therapeutics, 3D-SIDE and UCL

    EOS consortium Join-t-against-Osteoarthritis Preservation and repair of the joint: meeting the osteoarthritis challenge - 2018-2022

    Rik Lories (KULeuven), Frank Luyten (KULeuven), Dirk Elewaut (UGent), Geert Carmeliet (KULeuven) and Liesbet Geris (ULiege)

    Dr Sandra De Breucker (Erasme hospital, Brussels) and Prof Ivan Bautmans (VUB, Belgium) Collaborative work on sarcopenia

    OARSI Rehabilitation Discussion Group

    Melanie Ann Holden (Keele University, UK), Keith Button (Michigan State University, USA), Natalie J Collins (University of Queensland, Australia), RS Hinman (University of Melbourne, Australia), Jesper Bie Larsen (Aarhus University, Denmark), B Metcalf (University of Melbourne, Australia), H Master (University of Delaware, Newark, USA), ST Skou (Denmark), LM Thoma (University of Delaware, Newark, USA), E Wellsandt (University of Delaware, Newark, USA), DK White (University of Delaware, Newark, USA), K Bennell (University of Melbourne, Australia)

    OARSI clinical trials recommendation work group

    Magreet Kloppenburg (Leiden University, Netherlands), Emmanuel Maheu (St Antoine Hospital, France), Virginia Kraus (Duke University Medical Center, USA), Flavia Cicuttini (Monash University, Australia), Michael Doherty (University of Nottingham, UK), Renee Liliane Dreiser (Paris, France), GL Jiang (CA, USA), Joanne Marie Jordan (Chapel Hill, NC, USA), Lisa Mandl (New York City, USA), Johanne Martel-Pelletier (University of Montreal, Canada), Amanda Nelson (Chapel Hill, NC, USA), Tuhina Neogi (Boston, USA), Jean-Pierre Pelletier (University of Montreal, Canada), Leonardo Punzi (University of Padova, Italy), Roberta Ramonda (University of Padova, Italy), Lee S Simon (Cambridge, USA), Nancy E Lane (University of California at Davis School of Medicine, USA), Marc Hochberg (University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA), Michael Nevitt (University of California at San Francisco, USA), Klaus Flechsenhar (Sanofi, Frankfurt, Germany), Timothy McAlindon (Boston, USA), Jeffrey Driban (Boston, USA), David Hunter (University of Sydney, Australia), GL Jiang (Cambridge, USA), ST Skou (Denmark), Suzanne Wang (Abbvie, North Chicago, USA), Thomas Schnitzer (Chicago, USA), Francisco Blanco (Universidade da Coruna, Spain), Martin Englund (Lund University, Sweden), Stefan Lohmander (Lund University, Sweden), Elena Losina (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA), Patrik Onnerfjord (Lund University, Sweden), Stefano Persiani (Rottapharm Biotech, Monza, Italy).

    OARSI guidelines for non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis work group

    Timothy McAlindon (Boston, USA), Raveendhara Bannuru (Boston, USA), Matthew C. Sullivan (Boston, USA), NK Arden (University of Oxford, UK), Francis Berenbaum (University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France), Sita Bierma-Zeinstra (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Gillian A.A. Hawker (University of Toronto, Canada), David Hunter (University of Sydney, Australia), Hiroshi Kawaguchi (University of Tokyo, Japan), K Kwoh (University of Arizona, USA), Stefan Lohmander (Lund University, Sweden), Francois Rannou (University Paris Descartes, France), Ewa Roos (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark), Martin Underwood (University of Warwick, UK).

    OARSI performance-based tests to assess physical function in people diagnosed with hip or knee osteoarthritis work group

    Fiona Dobson (University of Melbourne, Australia), Rana Hinman (University of Melbourne, Australia), Ewa Roos (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark), JH Abbott (University of Otago, New Zealand), Paul Stratford (McMaster University, Canada), Aileen Davis (University of Toronto, Canada), Rachelle Buchbinder (Monash University, Australia), Lynn Snyder-Mackler (University of Delaware, USA), Julian Thumboo (NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore), Paul Hansen (University of Otago, New Zealand), Kim Bennell (University of Melbourne, Australia).

    OARSI FDA Osteoarthritis Biomarkers Working Group

    Virginia Kraus (Duke University Medical Center, USA), Bruce Burnett (Duke University School of Medicine, USA), J Coindreau (Novartis International AG, USA), S Cottrell (Amgen, USA), David Eyre (University of Washington, Seattle, USA), M Gendreau (San Diego, CA, USA), Jennifer Gardiner (Pfizer), Patrick Garnero (Lyon, France), John Hardin (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, USA), Dick Heinegard (Lund University, Sweden), Amy Ko (Merck & Company, USA), Stefan Lohmander (Lund University, Sweden), Gloria Matthews (Genzyme Corporation, USA), Joseph Menetski (Merck & Company, USA), Roland Moskowitz (Cleveland, USA), Stefano Persiani (Rottapharm Biotech, Monza, Italy), Anthony Robin Poole (McGill University, Montreal, Canada), Jean Charles Rousseau (University de Lyon, France), Martin Todman (Smith & Nephew Research Centre, UK).

    ICRS communication and publication committee

    Massimo Berruto (Milano, Italy), Zhenxing Shao (Peking, China), Wayne Gersoff (Denver, USA), Kazunori Shimomura (Osaka, Japan), Karl Haasper (Germany), Priewer Daniel Kleiman (Santiago, Chile), Ron Arbel (Israel).

    COST B13 Working Group on European Guidelines for Prevention in Low Back Pain

    Kim Burton (UK), Frederico Balague (Switzerland), Greet Cardon (Belgium), Hege Eriksen (Norway), Amnon Lahad (), Annette Leclerc (France), Gert Muller (Germany), Allard van der Beek (Netherlands)

    INNO-INDIGO consortium Mapping the biomarkers: comprehensive evaluation of pathophysiology and nutraceutical intervention for improved knee Osteoarthritis - 2016-2019

    Abhay Harsulkar (Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune, India), Sulev Koks (University of Tartu, Estonia), Christoph Lohmann (Universitaet Magdeburg, Germany)

    FP7 D-BOARD consortium Novel Diagnostics and Biomarkers for Early Identification of Chronic Inflammatory Joint Diseases - 2012-2017

    Ali Mobasheri (University of Surrey, UK), John Loughlin (University of Newcastle, UK), Sita Bierma-Zeinstra (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Mona Dvir-Ginzberg (University of Jerusalem, Israel), Thomas Pap (Universitaet Muenster, Germany), Holger Jahr (Aachen, Germany), Richard Barret-Jolley (Liverpool, UK), Harrie Weinans (Utrecht, Netherlands) Anne-Christine Bay-Jansen (Nordic Bioscience, Denmark), Ivana Bobeldijk-Pastorova (TNO, Netherlands), Andras Dinnyes (Hungary), Eric Dam (BiomediQ, Denmark),

    EUROVISCO European Viscosupplementation Consensus Group

    Xavier Chevalier (Hopital Henri Mondor, France), Raghu Raman (Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, UK), Pascal Richette (Hopital Lariboisiere, Paris), Jordi Montfort (Hospital del Mar, Barcelone, Spain), Joerg Jerosch (Johanna-Etienne-Hospital, Germany), Dominique Baron (Hopital de Lannion-Trestel, France), Herve Bard (Hopital Europeen Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France), Yannick Carrillon (Lyon, France), Alberto Migliore (Rome, Italy), Thierry Conrozier ( Hopital Nord Franche-Comte, France)

    Prof Francois Rannou et Didier Borderie (University Paris Descartes, France) Coll2-1 biomarker as actor of synovitis

    Dr Jeevithan Elango (Shanghai Ocean University) Chitosan-collagen 3d matrix and bone cells interactions

    Dr Naila Rabbani (university of warwick, UK) Glycation marker glucosepane increases with the progression of osteoarthritis and correlates with morphological and functional changes of cartilage in vivo

    Prof Virginia Kraus (Duke University Medical Center, USA) Dunkin-Hartley spontaneous osteoarthritis model in guinea pig and biomarkers

    Prof Martin Lotz (La Jolla University, USA) Collaborative work on fibulin-3

    Prof David Walsh (University of Nottingham, UK) Collaborative work on cartilage angiogenesis

    Prof Francis Berenbaum (University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France) Developement of an in vitro osteoblast mechanical stress model



University of Li�ge         Wallonie             Wallonie             Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS            Artialis       Nestec

Laboratoires Expanscience            Tilman             Heel             BCI-pharma            Cerhum

      CER            GeneQuine         Intervet      Kitozyme    Zentech

  Bioiberica       Kiomed     BioXtract     Pierre Fabre     Arthrolab  



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mSKIL, update: 2023