(4) Intervention Studies

This section of the site is dedicated to brief synopses of our ongoing research projects

Our Mission

To promote academic excellence by pursuing innovative research ideas, conducting high quality research studies, fostering multidisciplinary collaborations and facilitating the education and success of students and young investigators.





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Strontium Citrate on Bone Quality in Rats

Dr. Karen Beattie

There is a high prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures in the aging Canadian population. The most commonly prescribed class of treatment is bisphosphonates. This pharmaceutical agent increases bone mineral density (BMD) and decreases fracture incidence.  However, bisphosphonate use can also be associated with negative side effects.  An alternative for those who do not want to take traditional osteoporosis medications or cannot tolerate them may be an over-the-counter strontium supplement.  These supplements come in different formulations and are available in pharmacies and health food stores across Canada and the United States.  Unfortunately, little is known about the effects of these strontium supplements on bone quality.  

Our primary goal is to determine the effects of Strontium Citrate on bone quality using an animal model. We are completing a pilot study to assess the effects of Strontium Citrate using an animal model (Female Sprague-Dawley rats) to assist us in determining the effect on bone strength, histomorphometry, and bone formation using a combination of imaging techniques and mechanical testing.  We are also using a

unique non-invasive X-ray fluorescence system to  can quantify strontium levels in the antero-medial aspect of the proximal tibia of the rats. We have detected dramatic increases in bone strontium levels as early as one week after the initiation of the oral supplementation. The bone formation, morphometry and mechanics will be examined following an 8-week dosing schedule.

Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis with Low Intenisty Ultrasound (LIUS)

Adalberto Loyola-Sanchez

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) negatively influences the healthy aging process of the population. Until today, there are no interventions that have proved effective for enhancing the cartilage regeneration of these patients. The use of Low Intensity Ultrasound (LIUS) therapy has demonstrated promising effects on cartilage regeneration in vitro (human chondrocytes) and in vivo (animal models of cartilage injury). The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of 24 sessions of LIUS on the cartilage repair process through the measurement of cartilage volume and thickness in knee osteoarthritic patients with grades 1 and 2joint space narrowing (OARSI atlas guide 2007).

Methods: patients will be randomly allocated to one of two groups. Group 1 will receive LIUS therapy [pulsed, 20% duty cycle, 1 MHz, average temporal intensity of 0.2W/cm2, therapeutic intensity of 112. 5 J/cm2] for a total of 24 sessions, and Group 2 will receive sham LIUS therapy [the same device as in group 1 but without the sound head crystal] for a total of 24 sessions. The ultrasound treatment will be provided by the same trained individual, in the same location, and both the patient and the provider will be blinded to the intervention status. The main outcome measures will be cartilage volume and thickness obtained by a specialized software for the analysis of Magnetic Resonance Images. A two factor repeated measures ANOVA test will be used to assess the within and between group differences over time.

Conclusion: LIUS could be an effective intervention for promoting cartilage regeneration in the osteoarthritic process, as measured by a change in the cartilage thickness / volume. A Randomized Controlled Trial is proposed to assess this effect.

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