Project Title
Hybrid Nanostuctured Hydrogels: Bone regeneration using multifunctional injectable hydrogels
Project Type
Internacional / Public
Funding Body
Funding Program
ERANET EuroNanoMed
  • CEB: 40 000,00
  • Total: 128 313,00
Biosckin Molecular and Cell Therapies S.A.; Faculty of Engineering of Porto University (FEUP); Centro de Estudos de Ciência Animal, Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agrárias e Agro-Alimentares, Porto University (CECA-ICETA); IONISOS S.A.S.; IMP-Lyon University; Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)

Principal Investigator


ReBone aims at producing cutting edge science, intellectual property rights on new nanostructured materials, solutions for the sterilization of a new generation of biomaterials and finally new actual products. The project main motivation lies on the strong requirement of the transnational collaboration as to accomplish the defined goals. Life expectancy is nowadays two times higher than in the beginning of the 20th century. The human body is subjected to higher cumulative stress that results in degradation of the tissues, particularly of bones. Therefore, it is imperative to develop superior biomaterials and therapeutics for osteoregenerative medicine, which are the major objectives of the present project. A novel strategy based upon tissue engineering approach, encompassing principles of cell transplantation, material science and bioengineering, areas of expertise of the research team, will be presented. The project aspires to innovate with injectable hydrogels incorporating selfassembled nanogels holding hydrophobic domains able to dissolve, carry and release poorly water soluble pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the injectable hybrid hydrogels will be able to provide stability to Bonelike bone graft and entrap mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Such a system will result in a minimal invasive surgical procedure with decreased patient morbidity, lower risk of infection and reduced scar formation. Bonelike synthetic bone graft is a osteoconductive biomaterial applied successfully in orthopaedic and maxillofacial clinical areas, while stem cells, progenitor cells, and lineage-committed cells are being considered as a new generation of drug depots for the sustained release of therapeutic biomolecules. Thus, the ultimate development will consist in a therapeutic approach encompassing enhanced osteoconduction, osteoinduction and concomitant osteointegration and osteoregeneration. In a first development axis, Dextrin will be used both for the production of the hydrogel and nanoparticles. The biocompatibility, in vivo degradability and low molecular weight of dextrins are very promising properties regarding its biomedical application, gathering excellent functional performance with full reabsorption/excretion through renal filtration. The original concept of integrating a nanodispersed hydrophobic phase carrying hydrophobic pharmaceuticals associated to the hydrogel will be tested in vitro and in vivo. Statins, known for their ability to promote osteoblastic activity will be the case study, and BMP-2 a potent osteoinductive growth factor will serve as comparison. The proposed injectable system will be able to fill irregular shaped defects, avoiding the need for patient specific prefabrication. Thus, this project will produce basic science (2 PhD thesis) in the field of biomaterials and nanobiotechnology, simultaneously addressing and solving technical problems related to the industrial suitability of these biomaterials; this project will reinforce current research already close to product development and subject of preliminary claims on intellectual property, and aims the development of new biomedical products and sterilization solutions.