A research project in cartilage regeneration was recently financed by the European Commission with 5.5 million euros.
Named RESTORE (“User-centered smart nanobiomaterial-based 3-D matrices for chondral repair”), the project, which will last for 44 months, aims to create 3-D matrices that incorporate smart nanomaterials to repair knee cartilage lesions and thereby reduce or delay the onset of osteoarthritis.
With Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica or INEB in Portugal at the helm, the consortium comprises 10 partners from eight European countries. The other partners are Cidetec Foundation in Spain, Universita del Piemonte Orientale or UPO in Italy, Ulm University or UULM in Germany, Reykjavik University in Iceland, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, SINTEF in Norway, University of Oulu in Sweden, Askel Healthcare in Finland and 3DTech in Finland.
The RESTORE concept is based on constructive discussions between orthopaedic surgeons, tissue engineers, material scientists, cell biologists and small-to-medium enterprises to co-design an effective approach to manage the specific unmet clinical needs to treat knee chondral lesions. RESTORE’s matrices will be tailored to be implanted and fill the injury site, as well as to respond to the knee joint’s mechanical forces. Moreover, the matrices will contain smart nanoparticles with regenerative, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that will be responsive to remote activation by a noninvasive method. A knee brace equipped with sensors capable of activating these nanoparticles in the implanted matrix will be developed.
The competence and proof-of-concept owned by the RESTORE consortium will lead to technology development reaching technology readiness level 5 to 6 and to substantial clinical advances in regenerative medicine.
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- RESTORE consortium