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

Total budget: 5.5
Duration: 3.5 years (01/01/2019 – 30/06/2022)

The project

RESTORE 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. The project emerges following constructive discussions between orthopaedic surgeons, tissue engineers, materials researchers and cellular biologists to answer pressing clinical needs. The project aim at developing two different matrices, one based on a polymer already clinically tested in the veterinary sector for large knee cartilage lesions; and another matrix, more adequate for small lesions, generated using bioprinting technology, composed by cartilage cells of human origin to which we will also incorporate the smart nanoparticles. These matrices are tailored so that they can be implanted and fill the injury site as well as respond to the knee joint mechanical forces. Moreover, they contain smart nanoparticles with regenerative, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The nanoparticles with regenerative properties can, whenever necessary, be remotely activated with non-invasive methods. For that the project’s team will develop a knee brace equipped with sensors capable of activating the nanoparticles present in the implanted matrix.


RESTORE will be executed by a consortium of 10 partners from 6 EU Member States (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Finland) and 2 Associated Countries (Norway and Iceland). The RESTORE consortium demonstrates a strong industrial commitment, driven by two SMEs (Askel Healthcare and 3DTECH) and by the RTD (INEB, Oulun Yliopisto, Universitaet ULM, Haskolinn I Reykjavik, Goeteborgs Universitet, SINTEF AS, Universita degli studi del Piemonte orientale Amedeo Avogadro)  and this naturally provides to the project an understanding on different business and healthcare cultures, while enabling access to several stakeholders and end-users, providing wide feedback while promoting the project.

Our role

CIDETEC Nanomedicine´s mission in the project RESTORE is to design and produce drug delivery systems based on biocompatible nanoparticles and nanoemulsions for drug delivery. The incorporation of multiple active molecules (anti-inflammatory proteins, anti-bacterial agents and metalloprotease inhibitors) onto the nanocarriers will allow the generation of a tri-combinatorial drug delivery system. Different strategies will be designed in order to facilitate the integration of this tri-combinatorial drug delivery system into the 3D matrices (COPLA ScaffoldTM and microtissues). In this way, anti-bacterial properties and inflammatory-modulators of the nanostructures with scaffolds will efficiently promote cartilage regeneration.