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Industrial Biological Biomaterials Doctorate

Final Report Summary - IB2 (Industrial Biological Biomaterials Doctorate)

IB2 - Industrial Biological Biomaterials Doctorate is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network - European Industrial Doctorate (ITN-EID) funded under the European Community 7th Framework Programme.

The IB2 Network provided an elite doctorate programme developed to train four PhD candidates at the highest academic level in combination with strong components in entrepreneurship, technology transfer and business development. Part of the research and training was carried out in an industrial environment and using a problem solving approach.

The training programme was designed to create PhDs with an entrepreneurial mindset. It involved a high quality multidisciplinary research environment, interinstitutional cooperation and international networking, and provided career development by adding the technological dimension through inclusion of a comprehensive range of transferable skills (e.g. entrepreneurship courses, IPR management, communication skills).

The overall scientific objective of IB2 was to develop methodologies to grow stem cells of human origin in xenofree conditions: human plasma-derived biomaterials are proposed as an alternative supplement for cell culture. Currently, the clinical applications of human cells are limited partly because they are cultured using serum of bovine origin, thus with high risk of immunogenic reactions or zoonotic disease transmission. Human plasma-derived biomaterials, which are a priority of research and development of the industrial partner Grifols, were proposed as an alternative supplement for cell culture.

Four Fellows have been appointed (details available at and executed their research and training programmes at INEB and Grifols. Fellows have received initial training at INEB in Laboratory Techniques in Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine, in preparation for their research projects. The Fellows have attended four Modules (Preparation and characterization of hydrogel-like 3D matrices; hMSC (human mesenchymal stem cells) culture techniques; Isolation and culturing of endothelial and inflammatory cells; Engineering surfaces for protein-biomaterial interactions) and one advanced course (Introduction to Cell Culture Techniques for Regenerative Therapies). A further Module on Generation, culture and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) was provided by IBEC. Other training events included workshops and courses on Transferrable Skills ( and on important aspects related to working in an industrial setting (e.g. working in GLP conditions).

The research objectives were delivered by four complementary projects:
A. Effect of PDB on hMSCs/ECs crosstalk: towards the development of an injectable multicell delivery system produced under xeno-free conditions (Ewa Bauman)
B. Effect of PDBs on the crosstalk between hMSC and inflammatory cells (IC) (Arantxa Blazquez)
C. Effect of adsorbed PDBs on hMSC behavior (Maura Cimino)
D. Effect of PDBs on iPSC generation, maintenance, and differentiation: towards the generation of clinically-safe iPSC-derived cell therapy applications (Marcel Orpí)

The Fellows were contracted by INEB and seconded to Grifols for 50 % of the time. Ewa Bauman and Maura Cimino completed their secondments at Grifols in October 2014. Arantxa Blazquez started in September 2014 and completed in January 2016. Finally, Marcel Orpi was Seconded to IBEC from May 2013 to February 2014, and after the secondment in Grifolds returned to IBEC, until the end of the project.

The main research achievements of the project include:

· the validation of processes to produce safe plasma-derived biomaterials in industrial settings for use in culture media;
· the development and optimization of media formulations based of human plasma-derived biomaterials;
· the establishment of optimal conditions for culture of different types of cells in xeno-free conditions, such as hMSC from different origins (adipose tissue, AT, bone marrow, BM, and umbilical cord, UC), human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) and outgrowth endothelial cells (OEC).

The successful use of human plasma-derived biomaterials to grow stem cells of human origin will profoundly impact on the clinical transplantation of stem cells, with wide applications in tissue repair and regeneration therapies.

For additional information on the IB2 programme please visit the website (