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NanoSTARS imaging for STEM cell therapy for arthritic joints

NanoSTARS imaging for STEM cell therapy for arthritic joints

Objective

STARSTEM proposes imaging of stem cell engraftment in arthritic joints of large animals at clinically relevant depths, using nanoparticles with novel optical properties which enable unprecedented penetration depth and sensitivity. Arthritis is the most prevalent disease worldwide, with osteoarthritis (OA) affecting around 10% of the global population and around 70 million patients in Europe. There is no effective cure for OA at present and the majority of the treatments are symptomatic and not restorative. Stem cell therapy provides a unique opportunity for the self-regeneration of injured cartilage. One of the major hurdles in stem cell mediated-therapy is the inability to diagnose successful engraftment in real time using conventional imaging techniques. STARSTEM will address the major technology gaps to enable imaging of human stem cells at clinically relevant depths. STARSTEM is proposing the use of novel dual plasmonic gold nanostars (nanostars)-enhanced multi-modal imaging to detect stem cell engraftment and tissue repair, and thus their activity and efficacy as a therapy. STARSTEM will harness the best properties of light and sound with a photoacoustic (PA) imaging system for large animal and human finger imaging as proof-of-concept which exploits the unique advantages of our nanomaterial for differential and deep-tissue imaging. Functional imaging using PA enables the real time monitoring of engraftment and the therapeutic process at the site of interest, while highly sensitive anatomical imaging using MRI (using nanostar conjugated with magnetic nanoparticles as contrast agent) enables tracking of the movement and retention in individual organs of the transplanted cells that did not engraft. Algorithms for co-registered PA-MRI imaging approach will enable monitoring of the therapeutic process with high sensitivity. The overall imaging approach is designed to address small to large animal testing for efficacy and safety prior to clinical testing on humans.
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Coordinator

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND GALWAY

Address

University Road
H91 Galway

Ireland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 989 565

Participants (8)

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TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 599 260

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 1 014 560,99

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 778 101,25

FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE CIENCIES FOTONIQUES

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 506 840

ITHERA MEDICAL GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 535 625

PINTAIL LTD

Ireland

EU Contribution

€ 250 000

BIORIGEN SRL

Italy

ITHERA SCIENTIFIC GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 260 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 761214

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2018

  • End date

    31 December 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.2.1.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 933 952,24

  • EU contribution

    € 5 933 952,24

Coordinated by:

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND GALWAY

Ireland