Nervous and osteochondral regenerative medicine through innovative Tissue Engineering approaches
Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering aim at repairing damaged adult human organs, with the intent to restore the structural integrity and functionality of the healthy organ, through the identification of the cellular source able to regenerate the damaged tissue and the reconstruction of the most suitable microenvironment to host and instruct the regenerating cells. Tissue Engineering is on the cutting edge of the biomedical field in the 21st century, and drags a global market of products with high technological content, conservatively estimated at over 500 billion of euros for 2015.
The objective of the Project is to develop and test, in vitro and in vivo, innovative approaches of Tissue engineering, aimed at the regeneration of nervous and osteocartilagineous tissues. The rationale of the project is based on the knowledge and professional skills related to the Tissue Engineering field already available in the DHITECH District. The Italian Tissue Engineering Network has one of its fundamental Nodes in the University of Salento, which has been able to develop an intellectual property asset concerning the regeneration of nervous and osteocartilagineous tissues, by collaborating with various national and international highly qualified research centres. Among them, the scientific collaboration with the S. Raffaele Hospital of Milan (OSR) is particularly strategic for the potential increase and clinical implementation of the Tissue Engineering sector in Puglia, due to the settlement of a new OSR centre in Puglia. Among the expected results of the project, the development of several acellular and/or cellular therapies for the regeneration of nervous and osteocartilagineous tissues is envisaged to be the basis for:
- the acquisition of new intellectual property and the strengthening of the existing one;
- the creation of at least 2 research Spin-off companies, based on the intellectual property developed during the project.
Indeed the project, by valorizing the critical mass already present, aims at strengthening the role of the DHITECH District as the hub of a network of research centers, clinics, industries and research spin-off companies, in order to create a dynamic and integrated system of research, development and education.
Such a system, according to a development model already tested in the United States, in the Boston area, proves successful in terms of exploitation of research results, development of human capital and creation of human and entrepreneurial value in the area, by allowing:
- the attraction of researchers and highly qualified professional profiles in the Tissue Engineering field;
- the growing of Biotech companies already present in the District;
- the attraction of new companies, research centres and investments, for the further raising of the District in a highly strategic field such as the Tissue Engineering one.
Progetto RINOVATIS (cod. PON02_00563_3448479) – “Rigenerazione di tessuti nervosi ed osteocartilaginei mediante innovativi approcci di Tissue Engineering”