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Magnetic Scaffolds for in vivo Tissue Engineering

Final Report Summary - MAGISTER (Magnetic scaffolds for in vivo tissue engineering)

The MAGISTER project has successfully promoted a conceptually innovative idea introducing for the first time the notion of magnetic scaffolds (MagS) for tissue engineering and regeneration. The project has moved on both in vitro and in vivo approaches achieving important new knowledge applicable for foundational scientific activities, and valuable know-how for commercial usage and medical practices.

New concepts (worldwide pioneering and leading role of MAGISTER)

1. Before MAGISTER only magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) were investigated as magnetic materials related to the biomedical field - MAGISTER introduced the concept of MagS and related supporting materials
2. MagS have proven to promote the magnetic dragging of MNP-bioagents aggregates (BIOAGs) both towards and inside the scaffold (in vitro and in vivo demonstrations)
3. Pioneering BIOAGs for the controlled delivery of both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and stem cells have been developed. The technology couples highly controlled MNP manufacturing with an innovative surface functionalisation method based on novel biocompetent hyperbranched peptides (dendrons)
4. Magnetic fixation of scaffolds for the first time proposed and its utility demonstrated
5. Magneto-thermosensitive effects for the first time demonstrated in macroscopic objects.

New materials (worldwide pioneering and leading role of MAGISTER)

A number of biocompatible magnetic materials for scaffolds have been developed and fabricated:

Impregnation - Hydroxyapatite, gelatine, coral, polymers have been impregnated with bio-shelled MNP either produced by consortium or commercially available - these materials constituted the first available batch of MagS for earlier in vitro and in vivo experiments. High magnetisation values and low-intermediate biocompatibility were achieved.

Sintering - mainly humic acid (HA)-magnetite combination. High magnetisation values and intermediate-high biocompatibility.

Chemical doping: Outstanding result considering both scientific value and exploitation potential. HA:Fe first ever magnetic fully bioresorbable material. Medium magnetisation values, full biocompatibility.

Surface functionalisation - Novel dendrons have been designed to functionalise the surface of MNP and to spatially control the exposure of functional groups capable of binding VEGF and significantly increase the magnetisation of stem cells and endothelial cells thus driving angiogenesis.

Bioplotting by using new materials - PCL-HA:Fe - innovative magnetic scaffolds for in vivo experiments.

In vitro (worldwide pioneering and leading role of MAGISTER)

1. Magnetic guiding of BIOAGs inside MagS - demonstrated for both growth factors and stem cells bound to MNP.
2. Demonstrated that even magnetically weak scaffolds increase the sticking probability of (magnetised) cells by about 15 %.
3. For the first time demonstrated a distinct side by side magnetically guided colonisation of a scaffold fibre by two different types of cells.
4. Good biocompatibility detected on most selected materials.

In vivo (worldwide pioneering and leading role of MAGISTER)

1. Demonstrated that Magnetic guiding of bio-agents inside MagS leads to an excellent tissue reconstruction with clear vascularisation effects
2. Revealed the orientation of scaffold material by magnetic lines during scaffold-bone reconstruction
3. Demonstrated that magnetic fixation of scaffolds increases bone quality at the interfaces scaffold-old tissue by reducing micromotions
4. Developed protocols for implantation of MagS and injection of magnetic bio-agents.

Project Coordinator: Dr Valentin Dediu

Organisation: ISMN-CNR, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy


Phone: +39-051-6398507

Fax: +39-051-6398540

Project website address: