MMB8002 : Current Research Trends in Musculoskeletal Disease (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to inform students about the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal disorders, the experimental methods used to characterise the underlying (patho)physiology and both the current and future approaches to the treatment of musculoskeletal disease.

Musculoskeletal diseases are one of the biggest cause of chronic disability world wide. The conditions include: osteoarthritis (OA); inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis and the seronegative spondyloarthropathies); back pain; musculoskeletal injuries, including sports injuries; crystal arthritis (gout and calcium pyrophosphate disease) metabolic bone disease, principally osteoporosis (OP) and bone cancers. This module provides an overview of musculoskeletal disorders and investigates in depth the underlying cell biology and biochemistry of the principal musculoskeletal tissues: bone, cartilage and synovium in health and disease. Approaches to the study of musculoskeletal disorders are described in depth, highlighting not only how they have provided insight into disease mechanisms but also how these findings contribute to development of new treatments.

Outline Of Syllabus

The taught component will comprise weekly 1-2 hour lecture/tutorial sessions on the following topics:

1. Cells of joint tissues and the inflammatory response
2. An introduction to the structure and function of joints

3. An overview of the clinical features of Musculoskeletal diseases

4. Cell biology of chondrocytes and cartilage biochemistry

5. Cartilage matrix turnover and its disregulation in arthritis

6. Connective tissue diseases

7. Cellular and molecular biology of bone destruction and remodelling

8. Orthopaedic surgery - clinical and research aspects

9. Genetic and epigenetic factors predisposing to arthritis
10. Acquired immune mechanisms in inflammatory arthritis

11. Experimental cellular therapies in Rheumatoid Arthritis

12. An overview of old and new therapies for arthritis

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation for Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation for MCQ and Tests Time
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00Preparing Notes and Reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Visit to Anatomy
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00Preparation and Submission of 2500 word Essay
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study114:0014:00Additional Reading and Reflective Learning
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures by experts in clinical and scientific aspects of each area of the syllabus will provide students with a research-led overview of musculoskeletal biology and disease. Lectures provide guidance for further private study and seminars will support the development of a deeper understanding of the subject and allow students to consolidate the information gained in lectures as well as develop literary and oral communication skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M202500 word essay
Written exercise1M20MCQ test; 1 hour
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen written examination tests the student’s critical skills to write about knowledge of the subject area retained from the didactic teaching and additional reading. The open essay tests the ability to research and précis the on-line literature on a pre-selected topic. The multiple choice in-course examination tests retained factual knowledge of the subject area that is not dependent on skills in written English.

Reading Lists