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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-10-2014 | Award Amount: 8.83M | Year: 2015

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose due to inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance which affects 382 million people worldwide. Pancreatic islet transplantation is an extremely promising cure for insulin-sensitive diabetes mellitus (ISDM), but side effects of lifelong systemic immunosuppressive therapy, short supply of donor islets and their poor survival and efficacy in the portal vein limit the application of the current clinical procedure to the most at-risk brittle Type I diabetes (T1D) sufferers. The DRIVE consortium will develop a novel suite of bio-interactive hydrogels (-Gel) and on-demand drug release systems to deliver islets in a protective macrocapsule (-Shell) to the peritoneum with targeted deposition using a specialised injection catheter (-Cath). Pancreatic islets will be microencapsulated in -Gels; biofunctionalised injectable hydrogels containing immunosuppressive agents and polymeric microparticles with tuneable degradation profiles for localised delivery of efficacy cues. These -Gels will be housed in a porous retrievable macrocapsule, -Shell, for added retention, engraftment, oxygenation, vascularisation and immunoprotection of the islets. A minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure (O-Fold) will be used to create an omental fold and at the same time deliver -Shell. An extended residence time in -Gel will enhance long-term clinical efficacy of the islets and result in improved glycemic control. The novel -Gels will also be developed as human three-dimensional in-vitro models of in-vivo behaviour. Islet harvesting and preservation technologies will be developed to facilitate their optimised yield, safe handling and transport, and ease of storage. DRIVE will also enable the future treatment of a broader range of T1 and insulin-sensitive T2 diabetics by working with induced pluripotent stem cell experts to ensure the compatibility of our system with future stem cell sources of -cells.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2013.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.36M | Year: 2014

Peripheral nerves are basic communication structures guiding motor and sensitive information from CNS to effector or receptor units. Severe nerve injuries include axon bundles section and Schawnn cells destruction, which results in loss of motion control and sensorial perception. After the lesion, cells present in damaged nerves activate spontaneously self-regeneration programs that might facilitate further treatment. Nerve autograft is the gold standard surgical intervention that demands autologous tissue extraction and corresponding function loss. The goal of the project is the validation of biomaterials structural plasticity and those compatible manufacturing technologies that will enable the generation of a tubular structure containing an intraluminal microstructure based on an array of aligned channels or fibers. The regenerative properties of this prototype will be also validated in vivo in a sciatic nerve section animal model. This project proposal will take advantage of partners experience in the design of medical devices composed of natural and synthetic biomaterials and in scaled-up production mechanization technologies for the generation of the most effective peripheral nerve implant.

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