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Mechanobiological optimization of regeneration in cell-enriched construct implants within degenerative Cartilages: a defect Repair method through restoring Energy AbsorpTION

Project description

Mechanobiological optimisation of cartilage regenerative treatment

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects the mechanical integrity of the tissue, diminishing its ability to absorb shock and minimise peak loads on the underlying bones. Tissue engineering methods propose a solution to OA by implanting chondrocyte cell-enriched hydrogel/scaffold constructs into degenerative cartilage. The mechanical environment of the cell-seeded construct has a defining role in the quality and quantity of the regenerated extracellular matrix. The EU-funded CREATION project aims to restore the energy absorption of degenerative cartilage through the optimisation of regeneration in cell-enriched construct implants. The goal is to develop an in silico framework for the mechanobiological modelling of the cartilage-implant compound during loading. The model will then be used to minimise differences between the energy absorption of construct implants and native human cartilage.

Objective

Knee cartilage defects and consequent degeneration contribute to the development of osteoarthritis (OA). OA affects the mechanical integrity of the tissue, whose main function is to absorb shock and minimize peak loads in the underlying subchondral bone.
Tissue engineering methods propose solutions to OA by implanting chondrocyte cell-enriched hydrogel/scaffold constructs within degenerative cartilage defects. By applying mechanical loads to stimulate the cells within the constructs, they initiate cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. The mechanical environment of the cell-seeded construct has a crucial role in defining the quality and quantity of the regenerated ECM. This will determine the mechanical performance of the cartilage tissue. Indeed, any repair method has to aim at restoring the unique cartilage mechanics, in particular, the energy absorption capacity.
This project aims at restoring energy absorption of degenerative cartilage by optimizing regeneration in cell-enriched construct implants. The goal will be pursued by developing an in-silico framework for mechanobiological modelling of the regeneration and degeneration in the cartilage-implant compound during loading. Unique in the in-silico framework is the simultaneous modelling of regenerative and degenerative processes through adaptive modelling of the ECM. An innovative regeneration algorithm will be developed and integrated with a previously developed degeneration model. The adaptive model will then be used in an optimization scheme to minimize differences between energy absorption of construct implant and native human cartilage. An iterative performance evaluation is foreseen in comparison with biological experiments.
In collaboration with the participating research groups and using my background, I will have a unique chance to take a step forward in furthering insights on OA disease process. The anticipated collaborations and training will contribute to making me a mature researcher.

Coordinator

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Net EU contribution
€ 178 320,00
Address
OUDE MARKT 13
3000 Leuven
Belgium

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Region
Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 178 320,00