Dr. François Berthod is a professor at the Department of Surgery of the Laval University School of Medicine, and researcher at LOEX, Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, CHU de Québec-Laval University research center.
The main objective of his research program is to use tissue-engineering techniques of in vitro organ reconstruction to model different diseases that can be induced, or modulated by the nervous system. These models will be useful to better understand the disease mechanisms and to find new therapeutic approaches. In addition, one of his projects aims to repair peripheral nerve injuries through the development of a nerve tube produced by tissue engineering with the patient’s own cells.
Development of in vitro models of diseases by tissue engineering
Many human diseases have causes and mechanisms that are still poorly understood, making it difficult to find more efficient drugs. Using patient cells, it is possible to reconstruct organs affected by these diseases, and recapitulate their effects in vitro to better understand their mechanisms, and use these models to test the efficacy of new drugs.
In the case of modeling psoriasis, Dr. Berthod’s team hypothesized that cutaneous innervation could play a major role in lesion formation, and developed, in collaboration with Dr. Roxane Pouliot, an innervated and immunocompetent psoriatic skin model to study this disease.
To model amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease, Dr. Berthod’s team uses tissue engineering tools. Motor neurons are cultured with astrocytes, microglia, Schwann cells, and myotubes in a compartmentalized three-dimensional construct to recapitulate the neurodegenerative process.
Repair of peripheral nerves by tissue engineering
Peripheral nerve injuries cause paralysis of the affected limbs. The current surgical options for repairing major deficits are ineffective. Dr. Berthod has developed, in collaboration with Dr. Hélène Khuong, neurosurgeon, a project to produce a nerve tube made up of the patient’s own cells, and tailored to bridge the nerve gap. The production of an autologous living tube is a major innovation that should greatly stimulate axonal migration in the graft and promote regeneration of the injured nerve, allowing motor and sensitive recoveries of the limb.
LOEX / CMDGT
Canada G1J 1Z4
Tissue-engineered in vitro modeling of the impact of Schwann cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosisJournal Article
Biotechnol Bioeng, 119 (7), 2022.
Moyamoya Disease Susceptibility Gene RNF213 Regulates Endothelial Barrier FunctionJournal Article
Stroke, 53 (4), 2022.
Repair of peripheral nerve injuries using a prevascularized cell-based tissue-engineered nerve conduitJournal Article
Biomaterials, 280 , 2022.
[Tridimensional in vitro models of nervous and immune systems in the skin]Journal Article
Med Sci (Paris), 37 (1), 2021.
Lifting the veil on the keratinocyte contribution to cutaneous nociceptionJournal Article
Protein Cell, 11 (4), 2020.
Neuropeptide Substance P Released from a Nonswellable Laponite-Based Hydrogel Enhances Wound Healing in a Tissue-Engineered Skin In VitroJournal Article
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2 (12), 2020.
Prevascularized Tissue-Engineered Human Vaginal Mucosa: Optimization and ValidationJournal Article
Tissue Eng Part A, 26 (13-14), 2020.
Cutaneous nociception: Role of keratinocytesJournal Article
Exp Dermatol, 28 (12), 2019.
Development of an innervated tissue-engineered skin with human sensory neurons and Schwann cells differentiated from iPS cellsJournal Article
Acta Biomater, 82 , 2018.
Biotechnological Management of Skin Burn Injuries: Challenges and Perspectives in Wound Healing and Sensory RecoveryJournal Article
Tissue Eng Part B Rev, 23 (1), 2017.
- Étude de l'impact de l'innervation cutanée dans le Psoriasis, from 2018-04-01 to 2023-03-31
- Modélisation par génie tissulaire de la modulation de l'angiogenèse par l'innervation sensorielle, from 2018-04-01 to 2023-03-31
- Réparation des lésions des nerfs périphériques par génie tissulaire, from 2021-04-01 to 2026-03-31
Recently finished projects
- Pathogenic Pathways and in-vitro modelization of Intracranial Aneurysms in populations of Inuit and French Canadian descent, from 2017-04-01 to 2022-03-31
- Rôle du système nerveux sensitif sur la régénération de tissus vascularisés, from 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31
- Stratégies de réparation des transsections des nerfs périphériques par génie tissulaire, from 2016-07-01 to 2021-06-30
- Traitement des ulcères diabétiques à l'aide de nanoparticules chargées en neuropeptides, from 2020-06-08 to 2020-09-07