The consortium seeks to develop a highly novel bone substitute material (BSM) from mineralized silk composites for use in medical procedures requiring bone tissue replacement. Spinox have developed Spidrex, a novel silk-silk composite based on a fibre and matrix generated from spider silk analogues. Spidrex is biocompatible, bio-absorbable and has excellent mechanical properties and cell adhesiveness. Pilot studies at Bristol have shown it is rapidly and heavily mineralised by the component of natural bone, hydroxyapatite. Mineralised Spidrex will be developed into a BSM by incorporating osteoinductive factors in the silk matrix and biochemical tailoring both fibre and matrix. Progentix will develop non-foetal stem cell technology with which to seed the BSM. 3H Biomedical and U Kon InPuT will test human cell reaction to BSM in vitro. This will reduce the need for animal trials and allow material modification early in the design process.
Soton will optimise bone formation in the BSM in vitro. A cellularised, load bearing, resorbable BSM is unprecedented and will provide entry to a market estimated at 2.5 billion euros. It will be particularly advantageous for the treatment of fractures resulting from osteoporosis and bone lesions in cancer patients. The consortium comprises 3 highly innovative, research based SMEs from 3 member states whose competitiveness will be enhanced by access to this market and by collaboration with the consortium's 5 leading RTDs. Individually, each SME does not have the capability to pursue a project of the above magnitude. Tissue engineering, adult stem cell research and implantable biomaterials have been flagged as future growth markets, keenly pursued in the U.S. and Asia. Developing know-how in these areas, and subsequent dissemination of results in Europe will increase E.U. competitiveness in these burgeoning sectors.
Fields of science
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologytissue engineering
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologycells technologiesstem cells
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineoncology
- engineering and technologyindustrial biotechnologybiomaterials
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologyimplantsartificial bone
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Funding SchemeCOOPERATIVE -
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