Medical Field: Rheumatology
Award: Finalist
Country: Slovenia
Year: 2021
Research Work: Silver Fir (Abies alba L.) Polyphenolic Extract Shows Beneficial Influence on Chondrogenesis In Vitro under Normal and Inflammatory Conditions
Published in: Molecules


Small efficient steps bring great results.


One finalist in the field of Rheumatology is Mateja Sirše, MD, a resident of Orthopaedic Surgery from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of the University Medical Centre Maribor in Slovenia. She is very honoured to be among the finalists of this year's International Medis Awards. She sees this award as an additional confirmation of her good work, but also as a great responsibility to continue medical research and to pass on the best of scientific research to people.

Her curiosity to understand various physiological processes in the body has led her to research in the field of regenerative medicine. For her, health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. 

According to the latest scientific findings, she has noticed that chronic low-level inflammation plays a crucial role in several diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and osteoarthritis. While there are several treatments to alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, for example, there is no drug capable of reducing low-level inflammation or even stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms through mesenchymal stem cells. 

In our study, my colleagues and I wanted to determine whether four different plant polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin, Pycnogenol, Belinal ) are able to increase the chondrogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells. The results show a significant effect of Belinal on chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells derived from patients with osteoarthritis in both non-inflammatory and inflammatory conditions.

Because osteoarthritis is characterised by the depletion of repair mechanisms due primarily to chronic inflammation, these results show new ways to slow the progression of the disease. 

In addition to her work as a surgeon and researcher, she enjoys spending her free time in nature, where she always finds new inspiration for her future projects