Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - BIOART (Training network for developing innovative (bio)artificial devices for treatment of kidney and liver disease)

Renal and liver diseases are global public health problems, with the incidences of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and end-stage liver disease (ESLD) rising annually. Due to the lack of donor kidneys, most of ESRD patients depend on dialysis treatment using either an artificial kidney or the peritoneal membrane. Both modes are inefficient in removing uremic waste molecules and inadequately remove excess body fluids, potassium and phosphate contributing significantly to severe patient health problems, poor life quality and high mortality (15-20% per year). The impairment of liver functions has also serious implications and it is responsible for high rates of patient morbidity and mortality. Presently, liver transplantation remains the treatment of choice for ESLD patients but it is limited by both the high costs and severe shortage of donor organs.

The main objective of BIOART ITN was to provide state-of-the-art multidisciplinary training for a cohort of 16 young researchers in order to equip them with the skills required to make a significant impact in the treatment of kidney and liver diseases. To achieve this, fourteen individual RTD Projects were performed and more than thirty-five scientific training courses were offered by the host organizations to the recruited young researchers.

The main results of BIOART ITN are:
- A laboratory scale prototype artificial kidney device enabling prolonged / continuous removal of uremic toxins.
- A laboratory scale prototype bioartificial kidney device that utilizes human renal epithelial cells for removal of uremic toxins.
- Several laboratory scale prototypes bioreactor devices to ensure viability and functions of hepatocyte cells
- Eleven PhD theses, one book, and at least 15 research publications in scientific journals.
- Numerous presentations at scientific conferences and public events, including outreach.

The impact of the results to the young researchers and to the society in general are very significant:
BIOART provided state-of-the-art multidisciplinary training for a cohort of 16 young researchers and equipped them with the skills required to make a significant impact in the treatment of kidney and liver diseases. Furthermore, the network addressed several key problems of the current kidney and liver therapies. The research performed was mostly in the fundamental phase, however, it provided new insights for potentially better therapies and could pave the way for future developments of new therapeutic products. The technologies developed within BIOART would also form the basis for follow-up research initiatives and programs. Finally, the synergy between the research teams, achieved with the numerous events proposed by the Network, created an efficient and reference scientific community, well visible at European level in the domain of (bio)artificial organs and contributed to build a European leadership in this research topic. In the end of the project, both senior and younger researchers actually formed a core network that will continue collaborating and growing through further research projects as well as through academic and industrial collaborative projects.

Project website: http://www.bioart-fp7.eu

Reported by

UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE
Netherlands

Subjects

Life Sciences
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