18 July 2017
From June 30 to July 1, 2017, the biannual consortium meeting of the European Horizon2020 project TargetCaRe took place at the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI). Twenty-five scientists and Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) from 12 partner institutions attended the meeting that was organized by Prof Mauro Alini, Head of the AO Research Institute Davos Musculoskeletal Regeneration Program, and Sibylle Grad, Focus Area Leader Disc and Cartilage Research.
Chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis, caused by degeneration of intervertebral disc and articular cartilage, severely impair the mobility and the quality of life of many people worldwide. The project TargetCaRe aims to develop innovative therapies by combining expertise in highly advanced drug delivery carriers, dedicated targeting tools, state-of-the-art imaging techniques, stem cell and joint biology. Regeneration of damaged and degenerated tissues will be achieved by employing targeting strategies tailored to both the pathology and the tissues involved. An important feature of this ITN (Innovative Training Network) project is the dedicated training of 15 young scientists, by 15 partner institutions located in five different countries.
ARI scientists contribute extensively to the ex vivo studies of TargetCaRe through their extended research experience with specific bioreactor systems for cartilage and disc. The ESRs are studying the regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects of nanocarriers containing therapeutic molecules in whole organ culture models. Osteochondral explants are used by Letizia Vainieri, PhD cand. in a cartilage bioreactor that simulates the load and motion of an articulating joint. For intervertebral disc studies, supported by Zhen Li, an organ culture bioreactor is employed where whole bovine discs are cultured under relevant loading conditions.
The consortium meeting at the AO Research Institute Davos included scientific presentations of the young scientists and breakout sessions on specific drug delivery systems. Prof Johan Engbersen, attending advisory board member from the Technical University of Twente (NL), greatly appreciated the intense interaction between the partners, the creditable progress and the top quality of the presented work.
TargetCaRe Beneficiaries, Partner organizations, and PIs
|Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL||Gerjo van Osch|
|UMC Utrecht, NL||Laura Creemers|
|Technion, Israel||Marcelle Machluf|
|AO Research Institute, CH||Mauro Alini, Sibylle Grad|
|Cardiff University, UK||Bruce Caterson, Clare Hughes|
|University of Aberdeen, UK||Cosimo de Bari|
|Maastricht University, NL||Ron Heeren, Berta Cillero Pastor|
|Imperial College London, UK||Molly Stevens, Ben Pierce|
|iNANO, Aarhus, DK||Ken Howard|
|ProCore, Israel||Avner Yayon|
|Hebrew University, Israel||Efrat Monsonego Ornan|
|Percuros, NL||Alan Chan|
|Omics2Image, NL||Hans R. Poolman|
|Dutch Arthritis Foundation, NL||Nienke Klomp|