February New PREMUROSA project set to improve treatment of musculoskeletal disorders
CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway is one of a group of international partners from Italy, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Latvia, Serbia and Switzerland who have just launched an EU funded project Precision medicine for musculoskeletal regeneration, prosthetics, and active ageing – PREMUROSA. The main objective of the 4-year programme is to train a new generation of tissue engineering scientists from multiple European countries to develop new technologies and new therapies for musculoskeletal disorders. Over the next four years, the project’s partners will receive 3.4 million EUR funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
Musculoskeletal diseases are reported to affect roughly half of those over 60, strongly impacting the quality of life and posing a major burden on healthcare and welfare systems. Treatment of musculoskeletal disorders is currently based either on prosthetic or regenerative surgical procedures, often involving “one-size-fit-all” medical device implantation, compromising the effectiveness of treatments.
A great improvement could be achieved by precision medicine, specifically designed on patient’s individual characteristics, explained Lia Rimondini, professor at the University of Eastern Piedmont, and the PREMUROSA project’s coordinator.
“Patients respond differently to regeneration technologies and their response depends on their profile. To consider or not to consider the genetic (DNA), transcriptomic (RNA), proteomic (proteins) and metabolomic (including various metabolites) profile of the patient can greatly change the fate of the rehabilitation. At the moment no technique for the precise application are available for the musculoskeletal regeneration technologies,” said Lia Rimondini. “The future is to use effective therapies, fit to each patient and using scientific-based decision supporting system to decide the fitness,” she added.
This requires new and highly skilled professionals who will develop new strategies for translating tissue engineering innovations into useful information to customize therapies, taking into account the characteristics of each patient.
INNOVATIVE TRAINING FOR 13 YOUNG RESEARCHERS
The project aims to train a new generation of scientists with an integrated vision of the whole value chain in musculoskeletal regeneration technologies and able to boost the necessary innovations to achieve precision principles in developing innovative devices and optimized clinical applications.
A total of 13 students from the field of medical and health sciences, clinical medicine, surgery and surgical procedure will be selected to take part in the interdisciplinary project and earned their PhD degrees. Students will be hosted by a member of a European consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Ireland and Serbia.
Young researchers will gain advanced knowledge and skills, through an innovative combination of academic, industrial and clinical experience and training. They will benefit from an excellent scientific environment, up-date technologies and supervision by international leaders in the field.
Tiziano Serra, senior research scientist at the AO Research Institute Davos and one of the supervisors in the PREMUROSA project, explained: “We will develop novel biofabrication technologies for the generation of vascularized 3D models. This is fundamental to create robust tools diagnostic and therapeutics. All these advances will drive to a future where tissue and organs can be created in a mild, fast, and affordable way.”
The successful implementation of PREMUROSA will not only set the ground for innovative PhD training but will also contribute in meeting important SOCIAL CHALLENGES, such as optimization of clinical choices and therefore improvement of quality of life of patients and reduction of healthcare system costs. Moreover, industrial competitiveness will be substantially boosted due to medical devices optimization and the development of new products in the project.
The consortium comprises 11 European partner institutions led by the University of Eastern Piedmont (Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, Italy), and 6 non-academic partners and companies specializing in the biomedical field.
Among the 11 partner organizations are: University of Eastern Piedmont (Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, Italy), Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute (Bologna, Italy), Aalto University Foundation (Aalto, Finland), AO Research Institute Davos (Davos, Switzerland), Riga Technical University (Riga, Latvia), Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia), INEB—National Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Porto (Porto, Portugal), Polytechnic University of Turin (Turin, Italy), EnginSoft SpA (Trento, Italy), Tampere University of Technology, (Tampere, Finland), CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, National University of Ireland Galway (Galway, Ireland).
PREMUROSA is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network - European Joint Doctorates programme, funded by the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The project’s aim is to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.
You can follow the project on twitter @ThePremurosa
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