Osteocyte Function in Maintaining Collagen Alignment

Dr. Chandra's Bone Injury and Repair Lab investigates the role of deeply embedded osteocytes, explores changes in their biological function with aging and disease, and examines how these changes affect the regulation of collagen deposition, bone architecture and bone quality.

Osteocytes are connected to each other, to cells on the bone surface and the bone marrow environment with a network of canaliculi for intercellular communication. With aging and disease, osteocyte damage is often accompanied by canalicular network retraction and intercellular communication reduction.

Using radiation to induce osteocytic damage, our research team has established a model where we understand the changes in canalicular morphology and its effects on bone material properties. We have shown that mitigation of DNA damage and osteocytic apoptosis can restore bone quality. We are focused on deciphering the correlation between cellular changes to bone cells with changes to the collagen fibers.