Regenerative medicine focuses on repairing or replacing tissue or organ function lost due to damage or congenital defects using appropriate cells for therapy that have healing capacities like stem cells or progenitor cells. Although regenerative medicine has the potential for more effective therapeutic interventions major improvement in three areas are still needed for a wider establishment of such new concepts in clinical practise: identification of the appropriate cells with healing capacity for the use in therapy, homing of these cells to the damaged tissue, and monitoring of the therapeutic intervention and effect. Thus, a multidisciplinary consortium has set up IDEA, a 60 month collaborative project to develop and establish:
• Photonic methods that allow a contact and marker-free identification and selection of cells with healing capacity for vascular, musculoskeletal and neuronal tissue defects;
• Magnetic cell select devices that capture and transport cells with healing potential through the circulatory system to damaged tissue and organs improving homing;
• Tracer and imaging technologies to monitor the therapeutic effects of interventional regenerative medicine by showing anatomic structure AND demonstrating cellular function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a new imaging technology known as magnetic particle imaging (MPI).
The IDEA project is intended to provide collaboration between scientists and clinicians from Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), Kings College (London, UK), Paracelsus Medical University (Salzburg, Austria) and Julius-Maximilians-University (Würzburg, Germany) together with experts from SMEs specialized in photonic technologies for tissue engineering, medical device manufacturing with extensive experience in regulatory approval, the design, synthesis and up-scaling of nanoparticles for molecular imaging, and regulatory affairs. This multidisciplinary consortium will address scale-up, regulatory work and exploratory clinical investigations using the developed tools, technologies and devices in the time frame of the project.
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