NANO-SCORES wants to revolutionize the treatment of knee osteochondral lesions, a particular kind of defect that affects cartilage and the underlying bone tissue. This objective will be achieved by developing new nano-strategies exploiting recent developments by the partners in biomaterial and biological research.
Degeneration of the articular osteochondral tissues causes pain and decreased function and, if not treated properly, can lead to chronic and degenerative processes, leading in the end to osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a widespread disease with a huge impact on society and its development and progression could be prevented by regenerating the osteochondral unit.
One of the most promising strategies is the use of biomaterials (called scaffolds), that can be adapted to the site and size of lesions. Among the few developed scaffolds, one seem to be promising in the clinical practice: results have been rather satisfactory for the cartilage layer, but the regeneration of the subchondral bone remains a critical aspect, dooming most patients to prosthetic implants.
NANO-SCORES will developed two strategies to improve and sustain subchondral bone regeneration. The first one will modify the scaffold chemically through particular granules, called Amorphous Calcium Phosphate. The second one will improve the scaffold biologically through specific molecules, that help to migrate and home osteoprogenitor cells and to stimulate bone formation.
The newly developed and most promising scaffolds will be evaluated with in vitro and in vivo studies. These results will developed a new regenerative strategy for the treatment of osteochondral lesions and the prevention of OA.