Jul 19 2022 Posted: 08:00 IST

Büşra Günay awarded prize for work investigating potential new therapies for intervertebral disc repair

The eCM 2022 conference ‘eCM20: Cartilage and Disc Repair and Regeneration’ took place in June in Davos, Switzerland. CÚRAM PhD candidate Büşra Günay presented her work exploring potential therapies for the treatment of intervertebral disc repair.

Günay’s research is part of the European Union iPSpine consortium, which is developing a new therapy for treating chronic lower back pain caused by deteriorating discs between the bones of the spine. Büşra is developing an injectable, nature-based biomaterial that mimics a specific healthy portion of the disc, which is present when we are younger but we lose with age.

As Günay describes: “In this conference, we presented glycan patterns within cells of the spinal discs. Glycans (sugars) are found on the surface of cells and are essential in cell communications within the three-dimensional network that provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. We can harness the regenerative potential of these glycans by using an injectable hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel. Since the gel can be injected, the approach is much less invasive than current treatments”.

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “We congratulate Büşra on her recent accomplishment, which is a testament to her dedication to the research our team is carrying out. Her research shows great promise in providing a pathway to an effective new therapy for intervertebral disc repair.”

Günay has a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Biotechnology from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. Her research area includes bone tissue engineering, biomaterials and regenerative medicine with orthopaedic applications. In CÚRAM, she is working under the supervision of Prof. Abhay Pandit in collaboration with members of the iPSpine consortium.

The eCM conference is organised by eCM Journal (Eur Cell Mater), which provides an interdisciplinary forum for publication in the musculoskeletal field (Orthopaedics, Trauma, Maxillofacial (including dental) and Spine) of preclinical research, including the field of tissue engineering & regenerative medicine. eCM journal is published by AO Research Institute Davos, a Not-for-Profit foundation in Switzerland. All revenues are used to run and develop the journal for our readers.

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About eCM

eCM was one of the first open-access scientific journals in the world and initiated the transparent review process (now known as open peer review), including a transparent route to becoming a member of the eCM International Review Panel. eCM is published by AO Research Institute Davos, a Not-for-Profit foundation in Switzerland. The first ten years of eCM

eCM publishes preclinical research that has clinical relevance in the musculoskeletal field (Orthopaedics, Trauma, Maxillofacial (including dental) and Spine). eCM's definition of the musculoskeletal field includes bone, teeth, cartilage, intervertebral discs, skeletal muscle (not smooth or cardiac muscle), tendons and ligaments (it does not include the spinal cord or neural tissues).

 

About iPSpine

Chronic lower back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. More than 700 million people globally of all ages are affected each year. LBP is a major cause of reduced activity and work absence and imposes an economic burden of nearly ~€240 billion every year in the EU. iPSpine aims to investigate and develop a new therapy for LBP using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The project will develop an advanced therapy using iPS-technology and smart biomaterials that will be translated from laboratory models into a clinically relevant animal model. By the end of the project, the therapy should be ready for advancement to the first human clinical trial. Find out more- https://ipspine.eu/

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