Restore - User-centred smart 3D nanobiomaterial-based scaffold for chondral repair

Project on smart matrices for knee cartilage repair got 5.5 millions from EU

The Microelectronics Research Unit (MIC) and the Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology (MIPT) at University of Oulu have received a new funding (about 1 million euros) from EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 for innovative strategies to repair cartilage damage. The RESTORE project joins 9 European partners from 7 countries. The total funding for the 3.5-year project is worth 5.5 million euros.

RESTORE (User-centred smart 3D nanobiomaterial-based scaffold for chondral repair) project aims to develop smart and functional 3D matrices based on nanomaterials providing effective repair of chondral lesions. MIC and MIPT teams will focus on the incorporation of nanomaterials to 3D matrices and as well on the development of sensors to stimulate and monitor the cartilage healing.

-The main concept is to provide external physical-stimuli to the nanoenabled 3D matrices and, by doing that, be able to remote control tissue growth, says the Academy Research Fellow Gabriela Lorite.

-The use of functional nanomaterials towards clinical application is a key element to enable remote control of cell function, complemented Professor Krisztian Kordas.

Although the use of nanomaterials have been widely employed in the field of electronics and material science, the application towards cell biology and regenerative medicine is a new field of research.

-We have worked on the development of piezoelectric materials and their application for sensors, actuators and energy harvesting devices for many years. When Gabriela invited me to take part in this project to exploit such nanomaterials to biomedicine, I was quite suspicious in the beginning. However, the received funding shows that RESTORE is part of a new trend in bioscience: the translation of nanotechnology to medicine, says Docent Jari Juuti.

The repair of cartilage lesions constitutes a major challenge in regenerative medicine since the current clinical solutions are limited to only providing pain relief to patients and fail to deliver an effective long term treatment. RESTORE’s consortium expects to develop a nanobiomaterial-based solution capable to modulate cartilage repair leading to a true regeneration of tissue structure and function.

-My research group have been focusing on novel methods for early osteoarthritis diagnostics and prediction of its progression. RESTORE will complement the research we currently do in projects like MIRACLE and MAKNEE. Beyond the diagnostics, RESTORE will provide a novel solution for repairing the cartilage lesions, says Professor Simo Saarakkala.

-MAKNEE prototype has proved to be an effective wearable device to evaluate the condition of the knee. With RESTORE, we expect to extend the MAKNEE concept to provide also the physical-stimuli for the nanoenabled 3D matrices, says the postdoctoral fellow Jérôme Thevenot.

The RESTORE project aims to create 3D matrices incorporating smart nanomaterials to repair knee cartilage lesions thereby reducing or delaying the onset of osteoarthritis, which currently affects 242 million people worldwide.

News about RESTORE in MIRACLE Project webspage

People in the picture from left to right: Dr. Jérôme Thevenot, Dr. Jaakko Palosaari, Prof. Simo Saarakkala, Dr. Lauriane Janssen, Dr. Gabriela Lorite, Prof. Krisztian Kordas, MSc. Topias Järvinen and Docent Jari Juuti.

Last updated: 12.6.2020