Shannon ABC collaborate with PBC Biomed and RSCI to develop solution for bone degenerative disease.

Dr Aleksandra Augustyniak is leading the Shannon ABC, MTU work in this Enterprise Ireland funded Innovation Partnership. The project is led by Dr Orlaith Brennan in RCSI and was initiated by PBC Biomed to develop a bone scaffold that will support the re-growth and regeneration of affected bone structures.

Press release:

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Munster Technological University and Irish SME, PBC BioMed are to collaborate on a medical device to address the degenerative bone disease, avascular necrosis. The project is supported by an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership and will develop a bone graft scaffold that will support the re-growth and regeneration of the affected bone structure. The collaboration is based on patents held by PBC BioMed, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine expertise from the project lead in RCSI, Dr Orlaith Brennan and cell biology expertise in MTU from Dr Aleksandra Augustyniak.

The current preferred treatment for avascular necrosis at present are bone grafts taken from the patient themselves. These can be painful, and the donor site can experience bone morbidity. This project is based on the development of scaffolds that are compatible with the body and have a similar microporous structure to bone. The scaffolds which contain compounds that stimulate development of new bone will be placed at the site of the necrosis and as new bone formation is taking place, the scaffold slowly disintegrates, leaving behind strong, new bone.

Dr Orlaith Brennan, RCSI said: ‘This project offers an exciting opportunity for RCSI to collaborate with PBC BioMed and MTU to deliver patient-centred research which addresses a key international health challenge. The interest in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as a viable alternative to bone grafts has been steadily gaining momentum and we look forward to developing this technology further.’

Dr Gerard Insley, Chief Scientific Officer, PBC Biomed, said ‘Avascular Necrosis is a silent bone disease which can lead to early joint replacement. This can be avoided or delayed and joint preservation achieved by addressing the biology of the diseased area. Extending the life of a joint by over five years using specifically engineered scaffolds through the creation of a biological chamber can enhance healing and bone repair’.

Dr Aleksandra Augustyniak, MTU said: ‘We’re really excited to secure this project, it is the first Innovation Partnership signed off as MTU so it’s a really historic moment for us. We’ve worked with PBC Biomed for some time and it’s a real step forward to get this substantial project funded.’

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