AO Research Institute Davos hosts consortium meeting for the FP7 project NPMimetic

The consortium meeting of the partners of the FP7 funded European project NPMimetic took place March 11–12, 2013

28 March 2013

 

On March 11–12, 2013, the consortium meeting of the partners of the FP7 funded European project NPMimetic was organized at the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI). Twenty scientists from the ten partner institutions participated in this meeting which was already the fifth get-together of the complete consortium in 24 months. Urszula Narkiewicz from the European Commission and Hans Jörg Meisel, the clinical/scientific project advisor also attended the meeting and obtained insight in the status and progress of the work.

The NPMimetic Project

NPMimetic with its full title Biomimetic nano-fiber-based nucleus pulposus regeneration for the treatment of degenerative disc disease is a four year project run under the FP7–NMP Theme Nano-sciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies. Its aim is to develop a novel treatment for intervertebral disc degeneration based on synthetic nanofibers combined with a bioactive polymer hydrogel. NPMimetic is coordinated by Marco Helder from the University of Amsterdam (Holland) and includes the partner companies Nicast (Israel), ProCore (Israel), OsmDan (Israel), and Melab (Germany), the partner universities of Minho (Portugal), Sheffield (England) and Zürich (Switzerland), and the partner institutions CM Development (France) and AO Research Institute Davos. This brings together expertise in degradable and non-degradable synthetic and bio-polymer processing, injection technology, mathematical modeling, structural and chemical analysis, protein delivery, biomechanics, in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo preclinical methods for intervertebral disc research, complemented by project management and spine surgery.

ARI Contribution to NPMimetic

The role of the AO Research Institute Davos within the consortium is to perform cell and organ culture experiments to assess the in vitro and ex vivo performance of the newly developed materials and techniques. AO Research Institute Davos staff Mauro Alini, Sibylle Grad, Marianna Peroglio and Zhen Li from the Musculoskeletal Regeneration Program are involved in conducting and supervising these studies. In particular, collaboration with ProCore has resulted in the publication and presentation of abstracts at the World Biomaterials Conference, the TERMIS World Congress, and the Swiss Society for Biomaterials Meeting in 2012, while close interactions with the partners Nicast and University of Zürich are also continuing.

NPMimetic is funded by the EU Commission by a total of EUR 4,000,000, of which EUR 532,000 is granted to the AO Research Institute Davos. This meeting was successful and gave rise to stimulating discussions among the partner clinicians and scientists. Importantly, the consortium demonstrated that the project is well on-track. We look forward to the meeting, marking 30 months, in the Fall 2013.

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