- 2019 - present: PhD, Tissue Engineering & Human Anatomy, The University of Edinburgh, UK
- 2018 - 2019: MSc Human Anatomy with Distinction, The University of Edinburgh, UK
- 2014 - 2018: BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy), University of Aberdeen, UK
My PhD project mainly involves the study of enthesis formation and repair following avulsion injuries of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon from its insertion site at the base of the distal phalanx of the hand.
The enthesis, a specialised graduated interface where the integration of tendon into bone occurs, is proven to be highly dynamic and actively respond to changes in its environment due to mechanical load (Benjamin and Ralphs, 1998; Bannerman, Paxton and Grover, 2014). It plays an essential role in reducing mechanical stress at the bone-tendon interface. Following injury or disease, this interface is not regenerated resulting in an increased susceptibility to recurrent ruptures (Tellado et al., 2015). Thus, the enthesis is a difficult structure to repair imposing several clinical challenges on orthopaedic surgical reconstruction of bone-tendon interfaces.
All in all, my Orthopaedic Research UK funded research revolves around building on the anatomical and clinical relevance of novel tissue-engineered bone-tendon constructs mimicking human bone-tendon tissues, which have been previously developed in an pioneering co-culture system based on anatomical morphometrics in the Paxton lab. Understanding and re-establishing the precise anatomical and mechanical properties of the tissue interface following injury or repair is vital in ensuring future success of replacement tissues for implantation.
Alturkistani, Z.O., Loukopoulou, C., Algarni, M., Kachere, B.D., Alashkham, A. (2019). Multi tendons variation of the abductor pollicis longus muscle: a cadaveric study. Clinical Anatomy. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.23514
Findlater, S., Patera, E., Alturkistani, Z.O., Dockerty, J., Rapteas, L., Taher, R., So, J.T., Loukopoulou, C., Algarni, M., Kachere, B.D., Wang, Q., Chen, Z., Rayman Silva, M., Alashkham, A. (2019). Gantzer muscle, multi-tendons of abductor pollicis longus, high brachial artery bifurcation, and aberrant origin and course of the vertebral artery. Clinical Anatomy. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.23514
Loukopoulou, C., Lam, W.L., Alashkham, A. (2020). Nerve mapping of the thenar muscles of the hand and its relevance to selective peripheral neurectomy: a cadaveric study. Accepted in Clinical Anatomy.
Loukopoulou, C., Alturkistani, Z.O, Algarni, M., Kachere, B.D., Alashkham, A. (2020). Anatomical variations of the azygos venous system and its clinical implications. Accepted in Clinical Anatomy