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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.

Coordinator

SERVICIO DE SALUD DE CASTILLA LA MANCHA
Net EU contribution
€ 951 835,00
Address
Avenida Rio Guadiana 4
45007 Toledo
Spain

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Region
Castilla-La Mancha Toledo
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 582 008,75

Participants (6)

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
Net EU contribution
€ 708 090,00
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge

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Region
East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
AXON CABLE
France
Net EU contribution
€ 710 000,00
Address
Route De Chalons
51210 Montmirail

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Region
Grand Est Champagne-Ardenne Marne
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 212 362,50
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
Net EU contribution
€ 669 820,00
Address
Via Calepina 14
38122 Trento

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Region
Nord-Est Provincia Autonoma di Trento Trento
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 692 500,00
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm

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Region
Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSITE D'AIX MARSEILLE
France
Net EU contribution
€ 681 875,00
Address
Boulevard Charles Livon 58 Le Pharo
13284 Marseille

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Region
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Bouches-du-Rhône
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSITAT DES SAARLANDES
Germany
Net EU contribution
€ 680 000,00
Address
Campus
66123 Saarbrucken

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Region
Saarland Saarland Regionalverband Saarbrücken
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00