Bone regeneration is a critical challenge in the treatment of fractures, bone loss due to tumor resection, and alveolar bone deficiencies. Currently, approximately 2.2 million bone graft procedures are performed annually worldwide. Despite significant progress in bone tissue engineering, there is an unmet need for patient-specific long-lasting bone restoration to reproduce the unique physical, chemical, and biological properties of hierarchically structured bone in a personalized manner.
While bones can often naturally self-heal, critical-size bone defects lead to a failed repair process. Expanding on the current understanding of bone regeneration, I will integrate the biomechanical and immunological triggers of the healing process into an artificial bio-mimicking scaffold to specifically target critical defects. Thus, I aim to develop a conceptually new approach of personalized layered 3D-printed supramolecular scaffolds.
I intend to use a bottom-up multi-component co-assembly to produce tailored, layer-by-layer printed, extracellular-matrix-mimicking scaffolds that not only fit the defect shape, but also mimic the bone composition around the defect. For this purpose, I will significantly expand the repertoire of our proprietary peptide-based hydrogel technology by chemical modifications that allow interaction with bone minerals, slow release of growth factors, and activation of the immune system to trigger healing. I will combine computerized tomography scans and computer-assisted manufacturing to design personalized scaffolds that can be studied in an alveolar bone model, and be customized to accommodate bone type, structure, gender, age, and systemic diseases.
PersonalBone aims to develop customized supramolecular scaffolds that will promote personalized therapy for bone regenerative medicine, thus significantly advancing the fields of tissue engineering and materials science while offering a novel solution to a major healthcare issue.
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