Ten million for regenerative medicine
AFA Insurance is investing 60 million SEK in a five-year R&D programme in regenerative medicine. Ten million will go to a research project at Linköping University. They deal with healing fractures and repairing damaged hearts.
Per Aspenberg, professor of orthopaedics, and Mikael Sigvardsson, professor of cell biology, will receive five million SEK for the ‘Regenerative Medicine in Orthopaedics’ project.
The project deals with stem cell research for the purpose of understanding and expediting the healing of fractures.
To be able to effectively harness the full potential of these new opportunities requires better knowledge of the biology of healing fractures. The researchers want to obtain this knowledge through detailed investigations of the cells that participate in the early phases of healing, and how the function of these cells is affected by stimulation with medicine or stress. In the more basal investigations, transgenic mouse cells are used, which allow researchers to follow the maturation of stem cells in the damaged bone.
The aim of the project is to develop rational medicinal treatment in order to shorten healing time and prevent complications in skeletal damage. Moreover, it could offer possibilities for stem cell transplants for slow-healing fractures, which would be of great significance for medical treatment and patients.
May Griffith, professor of regenerative medicine, will receive five million SEK for the ‘Biomaterials - Improved strategies for repairing damaged hearts’ project, a collaboration between clinically active doctors and basic researchers.
The damage that occurs in heart muscle during a heart attack is often permanent, which results in reduced heart function.
Researchers will use a combination of biomaterials and cell-based therapy to halt destructive, inflammatory processes, but also to increase the new formation of blood vessels in the damaged area.
The primary role of the biomaterials is to protect the cells that are supplied to the damaged heart muscle so that they can perform their task as best as possible. To implement this, they have developed advanced mouse models, the possibility of cleaning stem cells and getting them to grow in the laboratory, and the possibility of carrying out the same kind of work on human cells.
LiU is one of six universities that are receiving a part of AFA Insurance’s investment. The others are Umeå University, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, Göteborg University, and Lund University.
“AFA insurance’s larger investments focus on regenerative medicine in a broad sense, both basic research and clinical applications,” says Hans Augustson, director of R&D operations.
Last updated: 2012-05-03