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The interplay among bone cells, matrices and systems

Final Report Summary - INTERBONE (The interplay among bone cells, matrices and systems)

The skeleton does more than provide just a physical structure to the body. Bone cells play an important role in metabolism, in regulating health and protecting against disease. There is a highly complex web of interactions between bone cells, the other components of skeletal tissue, and cells and organs in other parts of the body. This is still poorly understood.

INTERBONE, an interdisciplinary network for international exchange of scientists, has been supported by the European Union Framework 7 programme to study the central role of the skeleton in three areas of health. Work on energy metabolism in INTERBONE built on previous research findings that suggest a link between bone-derived signals, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. The network also investigated the role of candidate secreted factors in the disruption of hematopoiesis in the development of leukemia. Research on fracture repair and tissue regeneration has addressed biomaterials interactions with cells, and stimulation of angiogenesis in fracture repair with biophysical approaches.

The network, coordinated by Professor Anna Maria Teti at the University of L’Aquila, Italy, aimed to integrate research and training activities between 6 institutions:

• University of L’Aquila, Italy
• Erasmus Medical Centre, Netherlands
• Universidade do Grande Rio, Brazil
• Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil
• Anna University, Chennai, India
• Columbia University, USA

The planned research collaboration was supported by a programme of staff exchanges, training and networking activities. The network planned regular meetings integrated with established international conferences in bone-related research, to support networking and dissemination, a workshop on tissue regeneration and angiogenesis, and a programme of webinars. INTERBONE aimed to make a contribution to the opening of the European Research Area to international cooperation, and interaction with three of Europe’s strategic global partners (USA, India and Brazil) in this emerging interdisciplinary area of research.