TERMIS-EU 2017 Davos
17 August 2017
1300 scientists including clinicians medics and industrial attendees from various research institutes, universities, hospital and industry worldwide met from 26th – 30th June 2017 in Davos for the annual meeting of the international society for "Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine" (TERMIS-EU). The renowned congress was organized and implemented by the AO Research Institute Davos under the guidance of Prof. R. Geoff Richards and Prof. Mauro Alini. Co-organizers were the scientists David Eglin, Sibylle Grad, Claudia Loebel, Martin Stoddart and Sophie Verrier, as well as the administration team of the AO Research Institute Davos for organisational aspects. Under the lead theme "personalized therapies for regenerative medicine" more than 350 lectures were held and more than 800 studies presented as posters at TERMIS-EU 2017 Davos. Four world-renowned speakers were also invited to report on their pioneering developments in tissue regeneration in plenary sessions.
The latest findings from scientific and clinical research demonstrated the potential of stem cells, as well as natural and synthetic materials or remedies, for the regeneration of injured or worn tissue. In regenerative medicine, methods are also increasingly being developed to stimulate or speed up the body's endogenous healing potential. The production of patient-specific tissues from 3D printers was also presented several times. Besides bone the topics discussed were, joint and tendon regeneration, cartilage, the healing of eye, nerve, heart and skin diseases. A special symposium focused on the ethical aspects of personalized medicine, which met with great interest. The section of the young scientists also offered an attractive program for students and young researchers. TERMIS-EU prizes were awarded for outstanding achievements of emerging researchers and for outstanding contributions to scientific literature. The acknowledged "AO Foundation Berton Rahn Research Award" for the best external research project financed by the AO Foundation was awarded to Prof. Rob Mauck, University of Philadelphia, for his work as part of the AO Research Institute Davos's Acute Cartilage Injury Collaborative Research Program.
Lectures for Davos students
Within the framework of the TERMIS congress, scientists from the AO Research Institute Davos organized a symposium for 60 students of two local Davos schools, the SAMD and the sports gymnasium, focusing on biology. Prof. Martin Stoddart and Dr. Sibylle Grad clearly explained the founding of the AO Foundation almost 60 years ago as well as the worldwide importance of the AO principles for fracture treatment. While in the 1940s still 60% of all thigh fractures led to permanent disability, this rate is now 2-3% thanks to the achievements of the AO. The treatment of bone fractures by means of a wide range of implants is still being further developed and given to the surgeons in more than 700 practical courses worldwide.
In the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, AO is investigating new methods for treating bone, cartilage and disc injuries. The researchers explained the biological basis of the different tissues and the possibilities of the patient's own stem cells for their regeneration. The cells react strongly to mechanical stress and may vary depending on the stress mode into different cell types, e.g. cartilage or bone cells. This provides the biological basis of the well-established Perren strain principle. Special bioreactors for cartilage and intervertebral disc tests allow AO Research Institute Davos researchers to simulate normal stress and overload on cells and tissues within the laboratory. The findings, which were also presented at the TERMIS congress, contribute to the improvement of cell therapy and the optimization of physiotherapy. This insight into orthopedic research and development was very instructive for the middle school pupils and the teachers present, especially as the local professional opportunities for biologists, chemists, engineers and doctors were shown.
TERMIS run for congress participants
With the help of the Davos Trackclub, the TERMIS organization team organized a run / walk around the Davos lake (4 KM) for the conference participants. More than 270 delegates and students from all over the world registered for this unique event, which surpassed all expectations. While the fastest runners covered the 4km round in less than 15 minutes, the walking group took a little more time. The occasion was a welcome change to the long meetings in the congress center. Those who did not take part took the opportunity to admire the nature around the congress center or to hold scientific discussions in the open air. The congress organization thanks the track club for the perfect performance of this special event.
AO Research Institute Davos organised the 2017 TERMIS-EU Conference
TERMIS-EU 2017 Davos, at a true full cost model (including all personnel, overhead and material costs), without budget subsidy from AO Foundation made 15% profit which will be used for collaborative purposes within his research area to either fund part of a PhD or scientific Fellowships to be spent at the AO Research Institute Davos. This demonstrates that Davos, as a congress venue, when run efficiently, at the right time of year, can not only attract 1300 paying attendees, but it can also be a source of revenue.