RESEARCH COLLABORATION. Anders Palmquist, Margarita Trobos and Omar Omar are participating in a new EU consortium within biomaterials science. Researchers from 10 countries will collaborate in the project to develop new types of implant surfaces with lower risk of infection and faster healing.
The EU project is called BIOREMIA and has a budget of just over 4 million €, the equivalent of 43 million SEK. Through innovative biomaterial science, the researchers will create new types of implant surfaces that counteract bacterial growth, thereby reducing the risk of infection, while also stimulating healing.
“Implant-related infections caused by bacterial biofilms are a major problem that often leads to implants having to be replaced since antibiotic treatments are ineffective. This causes both unnecessary suffering for the patient and significant costs for society,” Anders Palmquist says.
Two doctoral students to Gothenburg
Just over 6 million SEK of the EU project’s budget will fund two doctoral students under the supervision of Anders Palmquist, Margarita Trobos and Omar Omar at the Department of Biomaterials. There, the students will study in detail the surfaces’ antimicrobial effect using in vitro biofilm models with relevant bacteria isolated from patient infections related to implants. They will also evaluate the host cellular response and the interaction between the implant surface and inflammatory and regenerative cells.
“We know that the surface’s characteristics play a significant role in the healing process, and the communication between inflammatory and regenerative cells is important in order to understand the long-term success or failure of implants,” explains Anders Palmquist.
In a later stage, the doctoral students will collaborate in combined studies where bacteria are cultured together with either inflammatory or regenerative cells. Results from these studies will help understand how the implant surface stimulates the inflammatory cells to ingest and kill bacteria or how it stimulates regeneration and tissue integration so that bacteria cannot colonize the implant surface.
The project is being coordinated by Professor Mariana Calin at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) in Germany. In addition to Germany and Sweden, academic and industrial partners in Austria, Greece, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and France are also participating. A total of 15 doctoral students will receive an interdisciplinary doctoral education within BIOREMIA.
Read more about the EU project on its website: www.bioremia.eu
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM