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Biomaterials and Additive Manufacturing: Osteochondral Scaffold innovation applied to osteoarthritis

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BAMOS (Biomaterials and Additive Manufacturing: Osteochondral Scaffold innovation applied to osteoarthritis)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2022-10-31

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions as identified in Bone & Joint Decade. This degenerative joint disease affects around 0.4 billion people’s life, with patients in Europe accounting for up to 30%. The figure is set to increase with the ageing problem. Patients with OA often suffer pain, loss of mobility and go on to require an end stage total joint replacement. This will happen when the loss of quality of cartilage and bone at the joint interface has significantly reduced the quality of life of the patient, and non-surgical treatments are no longer effective.

The project Biomaterials and Additive Manufacturing: Osteochondral Scaffold (BAMOS) innovation applied to osteoarthritis particularly addressed the challenges in OA treatment by providing novel cost-effective osteochondral scaffold technology for early intervention of OA to delay or avoid joint replacement operations. The developments of this project have the potential to relieve pain in patients with OA improving their quality of life by keeping people active. It fits with the scope of EU Societal Challenges to encourage the provision of improved clinical care for patients in the field of healthcare, especially for elderly patients. In the course of researching this new treatment for mid- to late-stage OA, BAMOS established and embed a new collaboration between seven internationally leading research organisations (from Europe and China).

BAMOS developed new materials and additive manufacturing technologies for the fabrication of custom-tailored osteochondral scaffolds that could bridge the gap between small osteochondral defect treatment and joint replacement. The new technologies underwent full pre-clinical evaluation so the scaffolds could enter clinical trial after the project.

This project brought together international leading research centres with wide-ranging complementary research expertise in the context of a collaborative scheme of research exchange and networking to:

• Define clinical specifications of the osteochondral scaffolds and the clinical delivery procedures to be used.
• Develop new osteochondral scaffold biomaterials in order to provide appropriate mechanical environment for support bone and cartilage formation simultaneously. Novel biopolymeric composites, processed by additive manufacturing, as well as coating procedures on titanium and polymeric scaffolds were also developed, characterized and tested.
• Develop innovative additive manufacturing techniques to produce patient-tailored osteochondral scaffold for large osteochondral defect repairs.
• Assess the osteochondral scaffolds in both in vitro disease relevant model and in vivo clinical animal model.
• Train early-stage researchers in the context of collaborative research, equip them with the advanced knowledge and expertise to tackle grand societal healthcare challenges and enable them to build the world class scientific research profile.
The project BAMOS was launched on January 2017, coordinated by the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and funded under the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) action (H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions). The international consortium included partners from China and Europe: University College London (UCL), Universidade do Minho (UMINHO), Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH), Clínica do Dragão - Espregueira Mendes Sports Center - FIFA Medical Center (SAGH), Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU), Shaanxi Hengtong Intelligent Machine Co, Ltd. (SHIM) and Zhejiang University (ZJU), apart from ULPGC as coordinator.

At the end of the project, 65 secondments have taken place, involving 44 staff members to complete a total stay time of more than 148 months. The secondees have participated in many training activities for acquiring knowledge related to cell culture protocols and procedures, mechanical characterization and imaging of the proposed scaffolds, joint replacement operations and clinical procedures for cartilage repair, molecular biology techniques, etc. From the technical point of view, new biomaterials have been developed for bone and cartilage tissue regeneration, as well as innovative bioactive coating procedures to improve the biological performance of polymeric-based biodegradable scaffolds intended for large defect repairs. By applying the biomaterials, techniques and numerical methods developed in BAMOS, different osteochondral scaffolds were manufactured and tested in vitro and in vivo using different animal models.

Dissemination activities carried out include the co-organization of the Hangzhou International Conference on Biomaterials, Bio-Design and Manufacturing (BDMC2018) and the 2nd International Conference on Biomaterials, Bio-Design and Manufacturing (BDMC 2019). Besides, a Summer School on Additive Manufacturing at the State Key Lab for Manufacturing Systems Engineering (XJTU) was held on 23-24 August 2018, and an online Summer School (AUTUMN WEBINAR BAMOS 2020) was celebrated on 15-16 October, 2020. Apart from this, 10 workshops and seminars in the context of BAMOS were organized, 33 talks were given in international conferences and 16 presentations were done in other events. Noteworthy, 27 scientific papers derived from the work carried out have been published, together with 3 books and 4 book chapters. Regarding communication actions, the website of the project ( has received more than 34,000 visits. The latest news, forthcoming events and links of interest related to the BAMOS project are posted on this website. In addition, there is a Facebook page ( where staff under secondment can upload photos, videos, comments and publications related to the project.
1. Enhancing the potential and future career perspectives of the staff members: Either early-stage researchers or experienced researchers had the opportunity to enhance their career development by taking advantage of the exchange program and knowledge transfer within BAMOS.
2. Development of new and lasting research collaborations: BAMOS allowed the collaboration between partners where most of them have not worked together before. The project provided the opportunity to the partners to share knowledge from different fields but with high level of complementarity.
3. Self-sustainability of the partnership after the end of the project: BAMOS has created strong links of future collaboration since partners have realized the mutual benefit of such a collaborative structure.
4. Contribution of the project to the improvement of the research and innovation potential within Europe and/or worldwide: The long-lasting relationship with the third country (China) involved in the research ensured the contribution of this project to the objectives of increasing international cooperation and opening European researchers to the world.
5. Dissemination of results: The partners disseminated BAMOS results to a broad audience within the medical and AM sectors, as well as to the biofabrication industry and the general public.
ZJU 3D bioprinter
Scaffolds of various materials and shapes
Rehabilitation services by specialist teams of therapists