Project: NANOstructured oSteoChOndral scaffold: novel biomimetic tRiggErS for enhanced bone regeneration

Acronym NANO-SCORES (Reference Number: EURONANOMED2017-077)
Duration 01/10/2018
Project Topic Degeneration of the articular osteochondral tissues causes pain and decreased function leading to osteoarthritis (OA), one of the most widespread diseases with a huge impact on society. OA development and progression could be prevented by regenerating the osteochondral unit. Till now, only one osteochondral scaffold (developed by 2 partners of the project consortium) has been translated in the clinical practice to restore the joint surface. Results have been rather satisfactory for the cartilage layer, but the regeneration of the subchondral bone remains a critical aspect, dooming most patients to prosthetic implants.This project aims to revolutionize osteochondral regeneration by developing new nano-strategies that will be introduced in the clinically tested biomimetic nanostructured osteochondral scaffold, exploiting recent developments by the partners in biomaterial and biological research. Two strategies will be used to trigger and sustain subchondral bone regeneration. The first one will improve the scaffold chemically through nanostructured “ion banks” in the form of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate granules with Sr, mixed into a crosslinked blend of collagen, Mg-HA and BDDGE. The second one will improve the scaffold biologically through bioactive peptides, such as SDF1, PDGFBB, BMP2 and GDF5, that help to migrate and home osteoprogenitor cells and to stimulate bone formation. The premature loss of these factors will be prevented by bioconjugation: a click chemistry technology will target their biological activity to the scaffold. The newly developed and most promising scaffolds will be evaluated with a translational approach. Evaluation will include biocompatibility studies in vitro and in vivo studies up to a validated large animal model in goat, closely resembling the human application. These results will move the project outputs from TRL3 to TRL5, developing a successful regenerative strategy for the treatment of osteochondral lesions and the prevention of OA.
Network EuroNanoMed III
Call Joint Transnational Call for Proposals (2017) for “European Innovative Research & Technological Development Projects in Nanomedicine”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli Coordinator Italy
1 LEMI (Laboratoire d’Evaluation des Matériels Implantables) Partner France
2 Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam Partner THE NETHERLANDS
3 Riga Technical University Partner Latvia
4 University College Dublin Partner Ireland
5 Fin-ceramica Faenza S.p.A. Partner Italy