Advanced biomaterials for Peripheral Nerve Repair
SFI Research Centre fully-funded research project
Integra LifeSciences is a world leader in medical technology, offering innovative solutions in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, and reconstructive and general surgery. Integra are experts in the development of innovative collagen-based regenerative biomaterials – they aspire to be a worldwide leader in neurosurgery and reconstructive surgery, delivering outstanding customer experience to positively impact the lives of millions of patients and families.
Peripheral nerve injury remains a major clinical problem, affecting more than one million patients worldwide annually. The collaboration between RCSI and Integra, through the SFI funded AMBER (Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research) Centre, has developed novel biomaterial solutions to repair the nerve and alleviate associated loss of motor or sensory function. These new biomaterials have the potential to significantly enhance functional recovery and quality of life, improving outcomes while also eliminating the need for secondary surgeries.
The RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) is one of the largest advanced biomaterials and tissue engineering/regenerative medicine research groups in Ireland. The TERG multi-disciplinary group brings together bioengineers, chemists, pharmacists, molecular biologists, and clinicians to develop advanced biomaterials for tissue repair with applications in bone, cartilage, cardiovascular, respiratory, neural, skin, and corneal regeneration. Led by Prof. Fergal O’Brien, this collaboration enabled Integra LifeSciences to access international expertise in biomaterials and pre-clinical models in TERG. The technologies developed by TERG have proven highly effective in repairing damaged nerves in pre-clinical trials and resulted in the generation of patentable IP and commercialisation of the technologies by Integra.
“The collaboration with the RCSI Research teams led by Prof. Fergal O’Brien has allowed Integra to fast track the internal development of advanced biomaterials for peripheral nerve repair. Our eventual goal is to be able to supply a bioartificial nerve graft to the surgeon and this collaboration has made that target an achievable reality.”
- Dr Simon Archibald, Vice President and Chief Scientist, Integra LifeSciences