Collaborative Research Partner

Davos, Switzerland

Collaborative Research Partner

Davos, Switzerland
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Pfeifer C.G.,University of Pennsylvania | Pfeifer C.G.,Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center | Pfeifer C.G.,University of Regensburg | Fisher M.B.,University of Pennsylvania | And 8 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

Promising therapies for cartilage repair are translated through large animal models toward human application. To guide this work, regulatory agencies publish recommendations ("guidance documents") to direct pivotal large animal studies. These are meant to aid in study design, outline metrics for judging efficacy, and facilitate comparisons between studies. To determine the penetrance of these documents in the field, we synthesized the recommendations of the American Society for Testing and Materials, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and European Medicines Agency into a scoring system and performed a systematic review of the past 20 years of preclinical cartilage repair studies. Our hypothesis was that the guidance documents would have a significant impact on how large animal cartilage repair studies were performed. A total of 114 publications meeting our inclusion criteria were reviewed for adherence to 24 categories extracted from the guidance documents, including 11 related to study design and description and 13 related to study outcomes. Overall, a weak positive trend was observed over time (P = 0.004, R2 = 0.07, slope = 0.63%/year), with overall adherence (the sum of study descriptors and outcomes) ranging from 32 ± 16% to 58 ± 14% in any individual year. There was no impact of the publication of the guidance documents on adherence (P = 0.264 to 0.50). Given that improved adherence would expedite translation, we discuss the reasons for poor adherence and outline approaches to increase and promote their more widespread adoption.

Likhitpanichkul M.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Likhitpanichkul M.,Collaborative Research Partner | Kim Y.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Torre O.M.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | And 8 more authors.
Spine Journal | Year: 2015

Background context Intervertebral discs (IVDs) are attractive targets for local drug delivery because they are avascular structures with limited transport. Painful IVDs are in a chronic inflammatory state. Although anti-inflammatories show poor performance in clinical trials, their efficacy treating IVD cells suggests that sustained, local drug delivery directly to painful IVDs may be beneficial. Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if genipin cross-linked fibrin (FibGen) with collagen Type I hollow spheres (CHS) can serve as a drug-delivery carrier for infliximab, the anti-tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) drug. Infliximab was chosen as a model drug because of the known role of TNFα in increasing downstream production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and pain mediators. Genipin cross-linked fibrin was used as drug carrier because it is adhesive, injectable, and slowly degrading hydrogel with the potential to seal annulus fibrosus (AF) defects. CHS allow simple and nondamaging drug loading and could act as a drug reservoir to improve sustained delivery. Study design/setting This is a study of biomaterials and human AF cell culture to determine drug release kinetics and efficacy. Methods Infliximab was delivered at low and high concentrations using FibGen with and without CHS. Gels were analyzed for structure, drug release kinetics, and efficacy treating human AF cells after release. Results Fibrin showed rapid infliximab drug release but degraded quickly. CHS alone showed a sustained release profile, but the small spheres may not remain in a degenerated IVD with fissures. Genipin cross-linked fibrin showed steady and low levels of infliximab release that was increased when loaded with higher drug concentrations. Infliximab was bound in CHS when delivered within FibGen and was only released after enzymatic degradation. The infliximab released over 20 days retained its bioactivity as confirmed by the sustained reduction of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα concentrations produced by AF cells. Conclusions Direct mixing of infliximab into FibGen was the simplest drug-loading protocol capable of sustained release. Results show feasibility of using drug-loaded FibGen for delivery of infliximab and, in the context with the literature, show potential to seal AF defects and partially restore IVD biomechanics. Future investigations are required to determine if drug-loaded FibGen can effectively deliver drugs, seal AF defects, and promote IVD repair or prevent further IVD degeneration in vivo. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Cucchiarini M.,Saarland University | Cucchiarini M.,Collaborative Research Partner | Madry H.,Saarland University | Madry H.,Collaborative Research Partner | And 7 more authors.
European Cells and Materials | Year: 2014

An AO Foundation (Davos, Switzerland) sponsored workshop "Cell Therapy in Cartilage Repair" from the Symposium "Where Science meets Clinics" (September 5-7, 2013, Davos) gathered leaders from medicine, science, industry, and regulatory organisations to debate the vision of cell therapy in articular cartilage repair and the measures that could be taken to narrow the gap between vision and current practice. Cell-based therapy is already in clinical use to enhance the repair of cartilage lesions, with procedures such as microfracture and articular chondrocyte implantation. However, even though long term follow up is good from a clinical perspective and some of the most rigorous randomised controlled trials in the regenerative medicine/orthopaedics field show beneficial effect, none of these options have proved successful in restoring the original articular cartilage structure and functionality in patients so far. With the remarkable recent advances in experimental research in cell biology (new sources for chondrocytes, stem cells), molecular biology (growth factors, genes), biomaterials, biomechanics, and translational science, a combined effort between scientists and clinicians with broad expertise may allow development of an improved cell therapy for cartilage repair. This position paper describes the current state of the art in the field to help define a procedure adapted to the clinical situation for upcoming translation in the patient.

Laschke M.W.,Saarland University | Laschke M.W.,Collaborative Research Partner | Schank T.E.,Saarland University | Schank T.E.,Collaborative Research Partner | And 11 more authors.
Acta Biomaterialia | Year: 2013

Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (adMSCs) exhibit a high angiogenic activity. Accordingly, their incorporation into tissue constructs represents a promising vascularization strategy in tissue engineering. In the present study, we analyzed whether the efficacy of this approach can be improved by seeding adMSCs as three-dimensional spheroids onto porous scaffolds. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive adMSCs expressing CD13, CD73, CD90 and CD117 were isolated from C57BL/6-TgN(ACTB-EGFP)1Osb/J mice for the generation of spheroids using the liquid overlay technique. Porous polyurethane scaffolds were seeded with these spheroids or a comparable number of individual adMSCs and implanted into the dorsal skinfold chamber of C57BL/6 wild-type mice. The vascularization of the implants was analyzed and compared to non-seeded scaffolds by means of intravital fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry. The adMSC spheroids exhibited a homogeneous diameter of ∼270 μm and could easily be incorporated into the scaffolds by dynamic seeding. After implantation, they induced a strong angiogenic host tissue response, resulting in an improved scaffold vascularization with a significantly higher functional microvessel density when compared to non-seeded scaffolds and scaffolds seeded with individual adMSCs. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that a high fraction of ∼40% of all microvessels within the center of spheroid-seeded scaffolds developed from GFP-positive adMSCs. These vessels inosculated with ingrowing GFP-negative vessels of the host. This indicates that adMSC spheroids serve as individual vascularization units, promoting the simultaneous development of new microvascular networks at different locations inside implanted tissue constructs. Thus, adMSC spheroids may be used to increase the efficacy of MSC-based vascularization strategies in future tissue engineering applications. © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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