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Biofunctionalised Electroconducting Microfibres for the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

Objective

Bio-electronic microsystems hold promise for repairing the damaged central nervous system (CNS). However, this potential has not been developed because their implantation inflicts additional neural injury, and ensuing inflammation and fibrosis compromise device functionality. In Neurofibres we want to achieve a breakthrough in “Neuroregenerative Bio-electronics”, developing dual-function devices that will serve as electroactive scaffolds for CNS regeneration and neural circuit activation. We engineered electroconducting microfibres (MFs) that add negligible tissue insult while promoting guided cell migration and axonal regeneration in rodents with spinal cord injury (SCI). The MFs also meet the challenge of probe miniaturisation and biofunctionalisation for ultrasensitive recording and stimulation of neural activity. An interdisciplinary consortium composed of neuroscientists, medical specialists, researchers in biomaterials, protein engineering, physics, and electrical and mechanical engineering, together with a company specialised in fabrication of microcables and microconnectors, will join efforts to design, develop, and test the MFs and complementary technology (microfibre functionalisation, assembling, and electronic interconnection), in order to produce a biologically safe and effective bio-electronic system for the treatment of SCI. This goal will be achieved through five specific objectives:
1) To improve the electrical conductivity, strength, and chemical stability of the microfibres.
2) To develop electro-responsive engineered affibodies for microfibre functionalisation.
3) To develop the technology for MF interconnection and assembling into implantable systems.
4) To perform comprehensive investigation of the immunological, glial, neuronal, and connective tissue responses to the implanted MFs and applied electrostimulation in rodent and swine SCI models.
5) To investigate the motor and sensory effects of microfibre implantation and electrostimulation.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology/neuroscience/computational neuroscience
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity

Call for proposal

FETPROACT-2016
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

SERVICIO DE SALUD DE CASTILLA LA MANCHA
Address
Avenida Rio Guadiana 4
45007 Toledo
Spain
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 751 835

Participants (6)

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 708 090
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
AXON CABLE
France
EU contribution
€ 910 000
Address
Route De Chalons
51210 Montmirail
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
EU contribution
€ 669 820
Address
Via Calepina 14
38122 Trento
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 692 500
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE D'AIX MARSEILLE
France
EU contribution
€ 681 875
Address
Boulevard Charles Livon 58
13284 Marseille
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT DES SAARLANDES
Germany
EU contribution
€ 680 000
Address
Campus
66123 Saarbrucken
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments