Back to homepage
News | 15.01.2024

Cooperation with German researchers

Two of the ten projects that received funding from the National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) for joint research activities between Poland and Germany will be carried out by researchers from the Medical University of Wroclaw. They will be headed by Aleksandra Królikowska, PhD, a UMW professor from the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Weronika Kozlowska, PhD, from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

The NAWA program aims to support the mobility of researchers. As part of the call conducted in 2023, 10 projects received funding, of which as many as two were submitted by the Medical University of Wroclaw:

The project Advancements in back to sport decision-making for patients after knee anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction / Advancements in back to sport decision-making for patients after knee anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, under the direction of Aleksandra Królikowska, PhD, UMW professor, head of the Independent Laboratory of Ergonomics and Biomedical Monitoring of the Department of Physiotherapy of the Faculty of Health Sciences, will be carried out in cooperation with Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg Theodor Fontane

The project deals with the decision-making process of patients returning to sports after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and the analysis of muscle strength changes in the knee joint of the non-operated limb. ACL injuries are common in young, physically active people. The standard method of treating them is arthroscopic reconstruction. Autogenous and allogenic grafts and artificial ligaments are used for it.
In the first two years after reconstruction, the risk of secondary ACL damage to the knee joint in the opposite limb is the same as the risk of secondary ACL graft damage. In patients with ACL damage, the risk of secondary ACL damage is 4 to 25 times higher than the risk of primary ACL damage. This means that despite advances in treatment, the high rate of re-injury to the involved limb, as well as the contralateral limb, remains a problem both clinically and economically. It is therefore important to identify and modify the factors that may cause them.Secondary ACL injuries and damage to the contralateral limb have different causes, but too early return to sport and functional deficits are considered to be among the primary causes.A successful return to sport (RTS - return to sport) is a process of going through stages (return to participation, return to sport and return to fitness). However, the determinant of RTS should not be time, but the stage of the patient's rehabilitation. Reliable tracking of rehabilitation progress is made possible by properly developed quantitative clinical and functional testing criteria.There are many programs for the prevention of secondary damage after ACL reconstruction, but we still know too little about functional assessment methods, as well as assessment criteria to ensure both an effective and safe return to activity.Commonly used in monitoring are measurements of the strength of the muscles acting on the knee joint (i.e. the extensor and flexor muscles of the knee joint), performed using dynamometers. Among the simplest and most commonly used are so-called hand dynamometers, which, however, have many limitations and are not as objective as isokinetic dynamometers or other measuring stations. The results of measurements made with hand dynamometers are most often expressed in kilograms. Torque measured with dynamometers such as isokinetic dynamometers is expressed in newton meters (Nm). The most commonly analyzed parameter is the so-called limb symmetry index (LSI - Limb Symmetry Index). The closer the LSI value is to 100, the greater the symmetry of the two tested lower extremities in terms of the strength of the tested muscle group. Values of LSI≤90 are considered normal. However, the literature increasingly points out that normal LSI values can distort the patient's actual condition. It is believed that after ACL reconstruction, not only the muscles in the operated limb are weakened, but also the muscles in the non-operated limb. This may be related to a decrease in physical activity in the postoperative period or paying special attention to exercising the operated limb. There is a lack of prospective studies that conclusively confirm the decrease in muscle strength acting on the knee joint in the non-operated limb - both in the early and later postoperative periods. It is also unknown how changes in muscle strength in the unoperated limb affect the patient's overall functional outcome.

Project: Elucidation of isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthetic pathways in Corydalis cheilanthifolia - a medicinal plant. a medicinal plant of poppy family (Papaveraceae) / Elucidation of isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthetic pathways in Corydalis cheilanthifolia - a medicinal plant of poppy family (Papaveraceae) under the direction of Dr. Weronika Kozlowska from the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy will be carried out in cooperation with Plant Biotechnology and Metabolic Engineering Technical University of Darmstadt

The main objective of the project is to develop methods for the identification and expression of biosynthetic enzymes of isoquinoline alkaloids produced in Corydalis cheilathifolia, a medicinal plant in the poppy family (Papaveraceae).Compounds with the nature of isoquinoline alkaloids exhibit anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity through various mechanisms of action on animal cells. According to the available literature, sanguinarine and chelerythrin, as well as coptisine, induced apoptosis of cancer cells through incorporation into DNA, and also influenced increased expression of proapoptotic proteins.Identification of potential enzyme candidates involved in the biosynthesis of sanguinarine, cheleritrin, protopin, allocryptopin, berberine, and coptisine, as well as morphinan and aporphine derivatives (coridine, glaucine) will be done on the basis of available transcriptomic data generated from RNA from related plants, mainly Chelidonium majus, Corydalis yanhusuo, and Papaver somniferum [Xiao et al. 2013; Hagel et al. 2015; Pourmazaheri et al. 2019].Therefore, extensive information on the C. cheilathifolia transcriptome will be provided for further studies of the molecular mechanisms of isoquinoline derivative structure formation and possible biosynthesis of phthalidoisoquinoline alkaloids. The next stage of the research will be the selection of candidates among enzymes that will enable alkaloid biosynthesis in single-celled organisms such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisae. Finally, tests will be carried out to verify the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of isoquinoline alkaloids obtained by this route.

Authored by: Monika Szymańska-Antosiak Creation date: 15.01.2024 Update authored by: Monika Szymańska-Antosiak Update date: 15.01.2024