February 17, 2012
THE GRAIL (Tissue in Host Engineering Guided Regeneration of Arterial Intimal Layer) project has been granted FP7 EU funds to develop bioactive and bioresorbable scaffolds that locally regenerate arteries after endovascular treatment in patients with atherosclerosis.
The concept of THE GRAIL project is the creation of an in vivo deployable bioactive scaffold to treat atherosclerosis. Arterial obstruction due to arteriosclerosis is the cause of a wide spectrum of diseases, disabilities and death. The purpose of the in vivo deployable bioactive scaffold is to offer an alternative treatment to mechanical re-channeling or by-passing of obstructed arteries by using a regenerative approach compatible with current minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Regeneration of the diseased artery using an absorbable bioactive scaffold is a previously unexplored area of arterial obstruction therapy. The scaffold is intended to be repopulated by resident and circulating patient cells with the aim of replacing the diseased and stiffened area of artery with the scaffold, which drives arterial regeneration, leaving physiologically responsive regenerated tissue.
This project gathers together a multidisciplinary team of four research centres: Univ. of Liverpool (UK), Univ. of Valladolid (ES), Institut of Bioengineering of Catalunya (ES) and the Biomaterial Centre of the Univ. of Naples Federico II (IT); one clinical centre, University Medical Centre of Utrecht (NL); and, four SMEs: Explora Biotech (IT), Technical Proteins Nanobiotechnology (ES), Conic Vascular Technology (CH) and Donawa Lifescience Consulting (IT).