04. November 2016
Orthopedic resident Johan van der Stok visited the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) from June 27-July 29.
As part of a European Orthopedic Research Society (EORS) travel grant, orthopedic resident Johan van der Stok visited the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) for five weeks from June 27-July 29. Van der Stok came to ARI from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, Delft and the Department of Orthopedic surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam where he has been since obtaining his PhD on bone regeneration. His PhD-thesis focused on the development of bone graft substitutes using cells and materials and translating these new bone graft substitutes towards clinical applications in orthopaedic surgery. This topic is relevant for every orthopedic surgeon, because bone grafts are still used in one out of every ten surgeries. His goal is therefore to continue doing this research and this EORS travel grant provided him the opportunity to visit ARI and to participate in the 17th annual eCM conference on Stem cells, bone fixation, repair & regeneration.
Van der Stok was attracted to the ARI as it is well recognized for its high quality research and development aimed towards clinical applications in orthopedic surgery. The institute almost covers the entire spectrum of orthopedic surgery and has a large research group that focuses on musculoskeletal regeneration. During his visit he received an introductory week in all the different research groups, providing him insight in the currently ongoing research projects.
This, together with the beautiful environment of the Davos mountains, inspired Van der Stok to explore ideas for future research. These ideas focused on the question: "How can promising results of stem cell-based bone regeneration be translated into clinically relevant new therapies in orthopaedic surgery?"
During his stay at ARI, Van der Stok has worked on an idea to regenerate the lunate bone using a stem cell-based approach. This stem cell-based approach aims to stimulate regeneration of the bone through endochondral ossification of stem cells incorporated in a patient-specific 3D-printed scaffold. The details of this idea have been formulated into a research plan, which he hopes to start in collaboration with ARI as soon as the necessary financial resources are available.
The EORS travel grant has provided a great opportunity for a clinician to immerse themself in a research environment and both parties hope to maintain this new found link in the future.