User-centred smart nanobiomaterial-based 3D matrices for chondral repair
The RESTORE project aims at developing an effective approach to manage the specific unmet clinical needs to treat knee chondral lesions. RESTORE, built upon the consortium’s proofs-of-concept and discussions between orthopaedic surgeons, tissue engineers, material scientists, cell biologists and SMEs, will realize a new generation of smart nanoenabled 3D matrices able to fit into complex lesion geometry, modulate undesirable biological events, and remotely control, stimulate and monitor cartilage repair. To create smart and functional 3D matrices, RESTORE will develop (i) nanobiomaterial-based nanocarriers to modulate inflammatory, cartilage extracellular matrix degradation and infection threats, (ii) stimuli-responsive nanobiomaterials tuned via external physical stimulus using radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields, and (iii) non-invasive wearable and wireless device for remote stimulus and regeneration monitoring. The nanobiomaterials will be integrated into cutting-edge 3D matrices that meet the needs of severe and mild chondral lesions: 1) the COPLA Scaffold commercialised since 2017 for animal health use and 2) 3D cartilage microtissues engineered via 3D bioprinting of iPS cells in a nanocellulose and alginate bioink. The technology development in RESTORE will reach TRL5 and enable substantial clinical advances in regenerative medicine. Untreated or not-correctly treated chondral lesions are likely to progress towards osteoarthritis (OA), which affects 242 million people globally (costs/patient/year: 10,452€). RESTORE will address the shortfalls of current therapeutic solutions while aiming to reduce the overall burden of OA. RESTORE’s outcomes hold high exploitation and commercial potential to boost the competitiveness of European companies, striving to diminish or delay the onset of OA, reducing hospitalization, number of surgeon interventions and time off work, thus leading to more cost-efficient health care and promote wellbeing and active ageing.