Rapid Prototyping of Custom-Made Bone-Forming Tissue Engineering Constructs

The AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) has successfully received a unique European-Chinese jointly funded project.

06 August 2013

The RAPIDOS project partners meeting in Davos, June 21, 2013.

The AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) is proud to announce that it has been awarded the first ever EU-China Biomaterials Research Project.

David Eglin (scientific coordinator), Prof RG Richards and Prof M Alini, together with renowned European and Chinese partners, have successfully entered the first joint European-Chinese research call on biomaterials.

This innovative project and consortium initiated in Davos was not only awarded, but was also ranked first in a very competitive field of more than 25 consortiums and 150 research groups.

This international project is partly the result of the endeavours of AO Research Institute Davos to educate and instil the Davos spirit in young surgeons and scientists for many years. Two of the Chinese partners—Prof L Qin and Prof TT Tang—were fellows in 1993 and in 2004, respectively. Today, along with Prof Richards, Prof Qin and Prof Tang, they have become directors of their respective institutes. Based on their long-trusted relationship, it was a matter of minutes for each individual partner to agree to work together and initiate this venture.

Description of the scientific project

The four-year-long RAPIDOS project is aimed at patient specific bone-forming tissue engineering constructs. More specifically, the project targets the repair of large blow-out orbital floor fractures and the reconstruction of large bone defects in proximal femur or proximal tibia.

In line with the clinical priorities of the AO Foundation, the goal of this European and Chinese consortium is to apply rapid-prototyping technologies to create patient specific tissue engineered implants made of resorbable polymer and calcium phosphate ceramic composites specifically designed by integrating imaging and information technologies; biomaterials and process engineering; and biological and biomedical engineering for novel and truly translational bone repair solutions.

The use of Chinese medicine extracts combined with the most recent fabrication techniques reunites the millennial knowledge of Chinese medicine with cutting-edge biomaterials science in this venture.

The RAPIDOS Consortium

The European partners—Prof DW Grijpma from the University of Twente, Netherlands; Prof T Peijs from Queen Mary College of London, UK; Prof J de Bruijn from Xpand Biotechnology AG based in the Netherlands, and AO Research Institute Davos—will receive a funding of Euros 1.7 million from the EU commission. The Chinese partners in this consortium will be financed by the Natural Science Foundation of China. The Chinese partners include Prof L Qin from Translational Medicine Research and Development Center of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Prof TT Tang from the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implant at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; and Prof SB Lu and Dr J Peng from The Institute of Orthopaedics of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing.

The RAPIDOS project objectives were presented at the 4th China-European Symposium on Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine in Sorrento this July and have already gathered interest from the community. The planned scientific exchanges and scientific workshops are truly exciting opportunities for the AO Research Institute Davos to exchange with leading scientists and surgeons in Europe and China.

The RAPIDOS project partners. From left to right: Prof TT Tang, Prof RG Richards, Dr L Kamer, Dr D Eglin, Prof J de Bruijn, Dr Z Li, Dr H Yuan, Prof M Alini, Prof DW Grijpma and Prof L Qin.

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