SPANISH R+D PLAN
TISSUE ENGINEERING: DESIGN AND APPLICATION OF NEW BIOACTIVE SYSTEMS
The present project considers the following objectives: Synthesis of biodegradable polyesters with branched functionalised structures that can be used for the preparation of bioactive supports or scaffolds with activating sequences of cell adhesion and proliferation. Preparation of macro/microporous resorbable hydrogels by new techniques of cryopolymerization, and controlled polymerization with functional gradient. Development of new “smart” polymer systems, sensitive to pH and temperature by clean CO2 supercritical technologies. New “polymer drugs” with controlled cells antiproliferative function for specific cells (tumoral, smooth muscle). Development of self-curing and injectable polymer formulations, of great interest to guarantee a biomechanical stabilization in bone tissue, as well as for the application of bioactive compounds (gowth factors) without surgery. Controlled delivery systems of specific drugs (antibiotics, antoxidants) which could offer a fast and secure application for the stabilization of fissures of vertebras (vertebroplasties) without invasive surgery, as well as for the treatment of osteoporosis.
CIBER-BBN. NETWORK OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRES IN THE FIELD OF BIOENGINEERING, BIOMATERIALS AND NANOMEDICINE
The activities that are being developed in the frame of this network are: Optimisation of surfaces to be used as implants, development and characterisation of scaffolds for tissue engineering, application of molecular image techniques based on nanomagnetic markers for the study of the premature diagnosis of neurodegenerative pathologies, application of information processing techniques for screening systems based on microarrays and analytical platforms.
BIOMIMETIC EXTRACELLULAR MATRICES FOR ANGIOGENIC ACTIVATION AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY IN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
The main goal of the project is the preparation and evaluation of macro/microporous supports or scaffolds with specific angiogenic activity and inherent anti-inflammatory properties for tissue regeneration. Hydrophilic polymeric and biocomposite supports will be prepared by different clean techniques, such as cryopolymerization, template leaching, electrospinning, in conditions that allow the addition of delicate and sensitive compounds such as growth factors, anti-inflammatory residues and activators of the angiogenic processes at cellular level.
NEW APPROACHES FOR CARTILAGE REGENERATION
The main objective of the project is to apply its scientific knowledge in regenerative medicine in order to develop a new bi-phasic biomaterial for osteochondral defects treatment and the development of appropriate strategies for cartilage repair using different approaches from regenerative medicine (namely, biomaterials science, cell biology of chondrogenesis and development of induced pluripotent stem cells) to identify the most suitable materials, cell populations and culture conditions in order to design a protocol suitable to medical practice.
DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED BIOMATERIALS FOR THEIR APPLICATION AS A NEW IMPLANT GENERATION
This project deals with the development of new biomaterials for their application as a new implant generation with improved properties. It has been structured in three main activities:
Activity 1: Preparation and characterization of new bioactive polymeric systems for their application as bioactive coatings for coronary stents, that minimizes actual problems with this kind of coating: hypersensitivity, thrombosis and slow re-endothelization process.
Activity 2: Design, preparation and characterization of new polymeric systems as vector devices with targeted pharmacological activity. The aim of this activity is to transform the biopolymers developed during “activity 1” in biodegradable therapeutic polymers that release an active component to the physiological medium.
Activity 3: Synthesis and characterization of polymeric systems for their application as encapsulation carriers of active components for the stimulation of different tissues regeneration, i.e.: cardiac tissue.
IN SITU TISSUE ENGINEERING USING STEM CELLS AND FUNCTIONAL BIOMATERIALS TO REPAIR ARTICULAR CARTILAGE: AN “IN VIVO MODEL”
Hyaline articular cartilage, the load-bearing tissue of the joint, has very limited repair and regeneration capacities. The lack of efficient treatment modalities for large chondral defects has motivated attempts to engineer cartilage constructs in vitro by combining cells, scaffold materials and environmental factors, including growth factors, signalling molecules, and physical influences. Despite promising experimental approaches, however, none of the current cartilage repair strategies has generated long lasting hyaline cartilage replacement tissue that meets the functional demands placed upon this tissue in vivo. The reasons for this are diverse and can ultimately result in matrix degradation, differentiation or integration insufficiencies, or loss of the transplanted cells and tissues. Different causes that lead to these impairments, including the lack of appropriate differentiation factors, hypertrophy, senescence, apoptosis, necrosis, inflammation, and mechanical stress. We try to avoid some of these issues using different sources and types of MSCs: MSC CD271+ with high capacity to chondrogenesis, MSC CD271 modified as Cybrids (mitochondrial modifications) to reduce the effect of inflammatory mediators, SZ cells from MSC to use specialized chondrocyte population and IPSC to induce chondrogenesis and to avoid the auto-implantation methodology. We also test the efficacy of the functional scaffolds with growth factors such as TGFb1 and -3 to get the in situ repair of articular cartilage. To carry out these aims we have planned to use an animal model (pig) with defects of cartilage.
IN SITU TISSUE ENGINEERING USING STEM CELLS AND FUNCTIONAL BIOMATERIALS
This project is a complementary action dedicated to complete the work described in the project entitled “in situ tissue engineering using stem cells and functional biomaterials to repair articular cartilage: an “in vivo model”
CUSTOMATIZED AND MINIMALLY INVASIVE EYE CARE
This project deals with the preparation of new biomaterials for application in the treatment of various pathologies in the ophthalmic field. The Biomaterials group participates with a collaborative contract with the company AJL OPHTHALMICS S. A. in which our reach will carried out the design and preparation of new intrastromal devices with bioactive character and modulated flexibility for the treatment of refractive corrections, and with another contact with the company LABORATORIOS FARMACEÚTICOS ROVI, S.A. in which our group will synthesized new saccharide derivatives for the treatment of corneal ulcers.
INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS EUROPEAN UNION
NOVEL THERAPEUTIC STRATEGIES FOR TISSUE ENGINEERING BONE AND CARTILAGE USING SECOND GENERATION BIOMIMETIC SCAFFOLDS
The main aim of the proposed network of excellence (NoE) is to combat and overcome fragmentation of European Research on the field of Tissue Engineering of Bone and Cartilage. This NoE aims to provide new tissue engineering technologies for therapeutic treatments, which will ultimately have a major social impact by contributing to the challenge of providing lifelong health for our society at an affordable cost. The financial support of the present year is dedicated to end the tasks carried out in the previous years, 2004-2009.