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Regeneration of Articular Cartilage using Advanced Biomaterials and Printing Technology

Objective

Adult articular cartilage has a limited capacity for repair and when damaged or injured, experiences a loss of function which leads to joint degeneration and ultimately osteoarthritis. Biomaterials-based treatments have had very limited success due to the complex zonal structure of the articular joint, problems with biomaterial retention at the joint surface and achieving integration with the host tissue while also maintaining load bearing capacity. Stem cell therapies have also failed to live up to significant hype for a number of reasons including the challenges with achieving formation of stable hyaline cartilage which does not undergo hypertrophy. Building on a wealth of experience in the area, we propose a solution. ReCaP will initially overcome the problems with traditional biomaterials approaches by utilising recent advances in the area of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing to develop a 3D printed multi-layered scaffold with pore architecture, mechanical properties and bioactive composition tailored to regenerate articular cartilage, intermediate calcified cartilage and subchondral bone. Following this, and building on internationally recognised pioneering research in the applicant’s lab on scaffold-mediated nanomedicine delivery, this system will be functionalised for the controlled non-viral delivery of nucleic acids (including plasmid DNA and microRNAs) to direct host stem cells to produce stable hyaline cartilage at the joint surface and encourage the rapid formation of vascularised bone in the subchondral region. A new paradigm-shifting surgical procedure will then be applied to allow this system to be anchored to the joint surface while directing host cell infiltration and tissue repair, thus promoting restoration of even large regions of the damaged joint through a joint surfacing approach. The proposed ReCaP platform is thus a paradigm shifting disruptive technology that will revolutionise the way joint injuries are treated.

Call for proposal

ERC-2017-ADG
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Host institution

ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS IN IRELAND
Address
Saint Stephen's Green 123
2 Dublin
Ireland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 999 410

Beneficiaries (1)

ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS IN IRELAND
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 2 999 410
Address
Saint Stephen's Green 123
2 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments