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Biological scaffolds for tissue regeneration and repair (RIA)


Research activities on functional biomaterials for regenerative medicine should show their advanced properties and their eventual field of application. These may include association with pluripotent stem cells, biostimulators, microfluidic devices, cellularised and/or biomimetic scaffolds, biological agents and appropriate disease models etc.

Proposals should cover one of the following domains:

  • Targeted musculoskeletal delivery of cells or biologically active agents and innovative biomaterials for articular cartilage/disc, ligament and tendon repair in weight-bearing joints;
  • Stimulation of healing in chronic and infected wounds and ulcerative processes (with or without biofilms as necessary);
  • Preventing microbial infection and concurrently promoting tissue regeneration in dental implants and/or dental root surgery;
  • Implementation of innovative manufacturing technologies (e.g. 3D printing) for affordable fabrication of patient-specific scaffolds planned in respect of the foregoing.

Proposals should address relevant local, national and international ethical and regulatory requirements, take into account gender aspects and include a section on research data management.

Proposals should liaise with a broad and multidisciplinary community of stakeholders (e.g. in the form of a user committee) and should include the appropriate disciplines of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) working in the health domain. Therefore, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package for cooperation and earmark appropriate resources

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

Activities should start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 5 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The increasing availability of novel biomaterials with tissue regeneration properties[[Reference is made to the topic of regenerative medicine: “Reliable and accessible information on future therapies in regenerative medicine”, CSA from Societal Challenge 1]] offers the solution for many diseases, including those of a degenerative nature, particularly as integral parts of advanced therapy medicinal products or medical devices. These disorders are often poorly amenable to current healthcare interventions. The design of new biomaterials capable of inducing tissue specific regeneration, which can derive from many different pathological processes or tissue defects, as elements of these medical technologies, results from their increasing fusion/combination. The production of these technologies is highly warranted. EU intervention in this field is required to achieve this goal and thereby develop new and innovative affordable technologies delivering personalised services.

  • Development of technologies to discover, produce and improve performance of custom-made innovative biomaterial structures for the repair or regeneration of human scaffolds and organs as outlined above, e.g. additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, electrospinning, etc. of prototypes on demand;
  • Enhanced competitiveness of the biomaterials and biomedical industries of the EU, in particular, through interdisciplinary technology transfer effects between biotechnology companies;
  • Reduction of healthcare costs related to rehabilitation time or medical device associated infections.

Relevant indicators and metrics with baseline values must be clearly stated in the proposal.