Hydrogels are increasingly utilized in coatings of medical devices, regenerative medicine and diagnostic materials. However, clinical application of these materials has been staying behind due to the lack of temporal and spatial controlled properties.
Therefore, The BIOGEL Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN-ETN) is a major European research and training consortium in the framework of H2020 programme focusing on developing innovative hydrogels and systems for (bio)medical applications. Functional and responsive hydrogels are engineered to:
(I) enhance the efficacy of medical devices by 2D biointegrative coatings,
(II) advance therapeutic measures by 3D templates for tissue repair,
(III) enable new diagnostic tools by diagnostic hydrogels.
LifeTec Group is involved in BIOGEL to improve current biomaterials test methods by creating physiologically relevant 3D in vitro and ex vivo platforms to study biomaterial behavior and tissue interaction. These will result in better interpretation of early biomaterial research results and a more predictable translation to pre-clinical practice.
What was done
LifeTec Group is currently developing:
a) An in vitro biomaterial test platform that enables online biomaterial testing in combination with cells or tissues. Assessment possibilities include online microscopy, mechanical testing, degradation studies, and porosity determination.
b) An ex vivo living and functional liver platform maintained under physiological hemodynamic conditions. This platform will allow for medical device testing, imaging, training, drug delivery and toxicity studies in a relevant setting.
In future, new hydrogels and their interaction with biological tissue will be assessed and subsequently improved, using LifeTec Group’s platforms prior to (pre-)clinical evalutations.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642687