Frank Luyten was awarded an ERC advanced grant 'The manufacturing of a biological tissue: regeneration of the joint by developmental engineering'
REJOIND: The Manufacturing of a Biological Tissue: REgeneration of the JOINt by Developmental engineering
Regenerative Medicine has provided new methodologies to repair damaged tissues. Novel cell based products are under clinical development and some have entered clinical practice such as in joint surface repair.
REJOIND aims to generate biological tissue engineered implants in a robust fashion using a biomimetic approach also termed “Developmental Engineering”. The goal is to provide proof-of-principle for this more sophisticated engineering approach that leads to the in vitro manufacturing of a growing bone, with a bioartificial growth plate as a “driving engine” at its core. This manufacturing process will thus involve the selection and expansion of proper stem cell populations, followed by the development of a process of condensation and aggregate formation. The next steps are fusion of distinct cell aggregates with different degrees of maturation into an integrated and communicating tissue assembly, with a specific zoning and organization. Optimization of the design leading to multilayered tissues and specific bioreactor technology are critical engineering steps. At every step of the process, computational models will be developed and applied, in order to form a rigorous mathematical, quantitative foundation for every process and to improve them.
Ultimately, REJOIND aims to achieve an autonomous process of in vitro tissue growth allowing guided size expansion and build bioartificial joints. A close interaction between biologists and engineers in the interdisciplinary platform Prometheus will make this possible