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PREMUROSA at WBC2024

The PREMUROSA project was presented at the 12th World Biomaterials Congress in Daegu, Republic of Korea. After many hours in planes, trains, and buses, the team was ready to enjoy the end of the spring and Korean food and to actively participate in the Congress.

ESR Ksenia Menshikh is finishing her talk with acknowledgements.

On the first day of the Congress, May 27th, an early-stage researcher from the University of Eastern Piedmont Ksenia Menshikh delivered a talk titled “Comparative analysis of 3D-printed β-TCP and freeze-dried alginate-bioactive glass scaffolds as bone-like microenvironments for osteosarcoma in vitro modelling”. She presented part of her PhD studies with a focus on biomaterials used for tumour engineering – growing tumours in a lab.

ESR Virginia Alessandra Gobbo is starting her presentation on bioactive glass.

The next day, Virginia Alessandra Gobbo from Tampere University, another ESR in the PREMUROSA project, talked about the “Implications of bioactive glass surface modification on protein adsorption”. In her talk, she also gave an overview of part of her PhD studies.

ESRs Ksenia Menshikh and Ilijana Kovrlija, professors Abhay Pandit, Meriem Lamghari, Lia Rimondini, Andrea Cochis and Dagnija Loca after closing the PREMUROSA session.

On May 29th Professors Lia Rimondini from UPO and Dagnija Loca from Riga Technical University had the honour of organizing the session “Precision Medicine in Biomaterials Application for Regeneration”, where professors Abhay Pandit from the University of Galway, Meriem Lamghari from i3S and Andrea Cochis from UPO delivered talks on the latest achievements of their research groups in the area.

ESR Ilijana Kovrlija is presenting her poster on octacalcium phosphate application.

Thursday, May 30th, was not less busy: ESR Ilijana Kovrlija from RTU participated with a poster “Tailoring the production technology and utilization of octacalcium phosphate for precise patient-centred applications in musculoskeletal field”. She got an opportunity to discuss her work with the top scientists in the field of calcium phosphate research and application.

ESR Ilijana Kovrlija is presenting on behalf of Dagnija Loca in the session dedicated to calcium phosphate research and application.

And even on Friday, the last day of the Congress, PREMUROSA participants were involved in active participation: on behalf of professor Dagnija Loca, Ilijana Kovrlija gave a presentation entitled “Calcium phosphates as drug delivery vehicles for cancer treatment”, which ended in a lively discussion on the topic.

Project coordinator professor Lia Rimondini with ESRs Ksenia and Virginia Alessandra on top of the Apsan mountain in Daegu.

This was a very fruitful time for the PREMUROSA team, and we are grateful for the opportunity to communicate the results obtained in the project framework every single day of the WBC 2024!

Our Three ESRs Completed Their PhD Journey 

Doctoral studies are a crucial part of a scientist’s professional and personal growth. It is a time infused with enthusiasm for an opportunity to delve deep into the peculiarities of the scientific field of interest, a time to establish the scientific network, but also a time to learn and accept that hard work and good ideas do not always come with success with the first attempt. In celebrating this journey, we are incredibly delighted to announce the successful completion of PhD studies by Mauro Nascimben (ESR12), Nicola di Marzio (ESR6), and Elżbieta Pańczyszyn (ESR10), who have earned their well-deserved PhD degrees. In this post, we will honour their success and take the opportunity to highlight the essence of their research performed within their PhD studies.

Mauro Nascimben (ESR12) from EnginSoft is defending his thesis at UPO – Novara, Italy

Mauro’s research explored the use of machine learning models for various precision medicine applications. His work encompassed bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, the development of a free Python library, regenerative medicine, and mass spectrometry proteomic analysis. 

Bioinformatics analysis of patient biomarkers indicated new analysis pipelines that detect survival rates and tumour stages in oncopatients. Furthermore, a collaboration with medical doctors led to the production of a public health decision support system based on machine learning.

In chemoinformatics, numerical experiments that used spiking neural networks were performed to predict drug toxicity, bioaccumulation, and enzyme bioactivity. This technique proved effective in handling structural information of drug compounds which can be intended for predictive analysis. Moreover, this technique was applied for clinical precision medicine to predict the risk of developing lymphedema after breast cancer therapy. In this field, Mauro’s work produced free software that can measure the volume of affected limbs in cases of oedema or other pathologies that require tracking body parts over time.

Mauro is describing the methodology of the studies – Novara, Italy

Mauro’s thesis describes also the development of a free Python library that can run biomedical equivalence tests with advanced visualization of statistical outcomes. Significantly, this library filled a gap in the biostatistical tools available to Python users requiring biomedical equivalence analysis.

His work also contributed to the field of regenerative medicine by using machine-learning methodology centred on a novel algorithm to track octacalcium phosphate synthesis. Octacalcium phosphate is a precursor to hydroxyapatite, the primary mineral component of bones and teeth, and is found in biological systems, particularly in the early bone formation and mineralization stages. Mauro’s algorithm exploited an ad-hoc solution on merged XRD and FTIR peak descriptors. 

Finally, Mauro performed a mass spectrometry proteomic analysis sequence to detect aberrant protein expression levels, and the procedure was tested on extracellular vesicle proteins from mesenchymal stem cells cultured on biomaterials.

Nicola di Marzio (ESR6) from AO Research Institute is starting his thesis discussion presentation at UPO – Novara, Italy

Nicola’s thesis explores an innovative biofabrication technology – more specifically, contactless sound patterning. In Nicola’s thesis, sound patterning is explored for its versatility in spatially organizing cells and addresses biofabrication challenges such as high cell packing density, the mildness of the process and rapidly creating 3D in vitro cellular morphologies. Nicola’s work explored possible applications of sound patterning in different in vitro models. Firstly, a vascularized tumour model for drug testing was developed by utilizing sound patterning. Using sound patterning, a reproducible cellular arrangement with a ring-like capillary structure was created and later combined with a tumour mass. Importantly, this model allowed for image analysis-based readouts owing to which angiogenic responses induced by the treatments could be detected. Secondly, Nicola explored the potential of sound-patterned capillaries in guiding neuronal growth within a 3D in vitro model of the peripheral neurovascular system. The sound-patterned vascular layer accelerated neurite growth and induced their organization in multiplanar networks.

Nicola is highlighting the aims of the PREMUROSA project – and where his work is located

Additionally, Nicola investigated how enhanced cell density achieved through sound patterning induces cellular changes. To accomplish this, proteomic analysis was employed and proteomic profiles of self-assembled microcapillary networks and their static counterpart were compared.

Finally, Nicola concludes his thesis by discussing the potential of sound patterning in the generation of spatially patterned perfusable capillary networks which are to be further explored in the future. 

Elżbieta Pańczyszyn (ESR10) from UPO is finalizing her presentation and answering the questions of the committee – Novara, Italy

Elżbieta’s work concerns osteosarcoma – a rare malignant tumour predominantly located in the long bones characterized by a poor prognosis due to limited treatment options. The motivation behind her work is the fact that most osteosarcoma cells exhibit resistance to conventional treatments. Resistance is mainly associated with the well-known epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which consists of increased invasiveness and enhanced metastatic potential. 

Therefore, Elżbieta focused her work on confronting the conventional treatments with the development of novel therapeutic strategies that could completely eradicate osteosarcoma cells. In specific, Elżbieta focused her work on a new form of non-apoptotic cell death known as ferroptosis. Her work demonstrated a heterogeneous sensitivity of osteosarcoma cells to ferroptosis execution, which can be attributed to differences in the expression of ferroptosis suppressor protein 1 (FSP1), a well-known anti-ferroptotic factor. Indeed, inhibiting the activity or expression of FSP1 efficiently restores the sensitivity to ferroptosis. Additionally, throughout her work, Elżbieta found that also other factors such as NRF2, p53, and AKRs play a role in regulating FSP1 expression and/or influencing cancer cell resistance to ferroptosis. Significantly, the expression of FSP1 arose as a new valuable marker for predicting the sensitivity of osteosarcoma cells to ferroptosis and as a promising target for novel therapeutic interventions.

Another part of Elżbieta’s thesis was dedicated to innovative solutions for post-surgical recovery of a patient’s bone after the removal of primary osteosarcoma which results in large bone resection. In that context, Elżbieta explored the potential of doped-bioactive glass as a novel therapeutic intervention that could both eradicate malignant cells and simultaneously promote bone tissue regeneration. Bioactive glass (BAG) was chosen as it has been extensively studied and employed in the field of regenerative medicine due to its ability to improve bone tissue regeneration and to integrate with the host tissue. In her study, Elżbieta used tellurium (Te) doped bioactive glass and found that it could selectively kill osteosarcoma cells through ferroptosis while at the same time preserving the viability of human mesenchymal stem cells, and stimulating their osteodifferentiation. Although the molecular basis of Te toxicity is not yet completely understood, Elżbieta’s results suggest that Te-BAG could directly affect the functionality of FSP1. 

Elżbieta and her support team along the PhD journey: friends, colleagues, and mentors – Prof. Lia Rimondini and Prof. Marco Corazzari

The achievements of our ESRs Mauro, Nicola, and Elżbieta are a testament to their dedication and hard work in advancing scientific frontiers, promising innovative solutions in healthcare and beyond. 

Biomaterials Bring Us Together Again: PREMUROSA at ESB

Many members of the PREMUROSA project have attended the 33rd Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials ESB2023 which took place in Davos, Switzerland, this September, and we can all agree that it was a delightful experience!

PREMUROSA consortium at ESB2023. From left to right: ESRs Ilijana Kovrlija and Ksenia Menshikh, professor Lia Rimondini, ESRs Nicola Di Marzio and Emine Kahraman, professor Tiziano Serra.

From a scientific perspective, our supervisors highlighted the goals of PREMUROSA and shared their expertise with the rest of the biomaterial society. Our young ESRs also discussed their experiences and most recent PhD findings to get insightful criticism from professionals in their field. We absolutely enjoyed the engaging and professional talks with leading scientists in the field, the insightful exchange of feedback on our research, and the fascinating discussions with representatives of cutting-edge research companies about how to integrate their technology into our projects. Not to mention outstanding speed talks and posters that gave us a general overview of different research projects that have been conducted and triggered our scientific curiosity. As a matter of fact, realizing how many scientists have worked to create increasingly accurate 3D in vitro models to minimize animal testing and how each scientist has been looking for answers to various biological questions to see the bigger picture with one voice was truly impressive!

The coordinator of the PREMUROSA project Prof. Lia Rimondini finishes her talk with an overview of the projects her laboratory is involved in and links between them.
ESR Virginia Alessandra Gobbo gives a presentation on bioactive glasses coated with fibronectin during a session chaired by outstanding scientists in the field – Aldo Boccaccini and Marta Miola.

Of course, our scientists did not forget about having fun, too. So, where should we begin?  Pleasant and well-organized coffee breaks let us enjoy conversations with colleagues and collaborators. More importantly, we had the occasion of meeting new people in a more dynamic environment and in stunning locations to expand our network. There were a ton of ways to take it easy and appreciate the surroundings. For instance, young scientist night was a fun occasion for a few of us to dance and win exclusive Swiss chocolate by answering questions about Davos! For some, a run around the expertly designed lake by the organizing committee, or a stroll through Davos’ natural beauty before or after talks!

The best social activity ever – a short yet challenging run around the lake nested in picturesque Swiss landscapes. ESR Emine Kahraman is going to hit the top!

It was a truly productive and cheerful week, and we look forward to getting together once more at the upcoming biomaterial science conferences to expand our network and work for a better future!

Fourth PREMUROSA Network School in Riga: The Last Project Meeting to Build the Future

At the end of May 2023, the ESRs, the professors and the PREMUROSA consortium met in Riga, Latvia, on the occasion of the 4th PREMUROSA Network School. Ilijana Kovrlija (ESR2), Prof. Janis Locs and Prof. Dagnija Loca organized the network school as part of a bigger cluster event in collaboration with the EU-funded project RiseUs2 and hosted it in the Baltic Biomaterials Center of Excellence of Riga Technical University. The network school, consisting of a 5-day meeting in the context of this beautiful North-European city, mainly focused on biomaterials, biological 3D models and data analysis, involving experts in the field to discuss new frontiers and present their latest research in the field.

The beautiful city of Riga welcomed the PREMUROSA project consortium with unusually warm weather

An overall update was made by ESRs and professors concerning the development and growth of the project, focusing on and discussing the scientific results obtained so far. Each ESR presented the overall work performed since the beginning of the project, the scientific results, which were widely discussed in the perspective of further developments and collaborations, and the achieved goals, including the published papers, the attended conferences and the completed secondments.

ESRs presented their results obtained within the PREMUROSA project on the first day of the summer school
The first day ended with dinner gathering PREMUROSA and RiseUs2 projects. ESRs used this opportunity to thank the project coordinator – Prof. Lia Rimondini (UPO)

Furthermore, on the occasion of this meeting, various exciting seminars and hands-on workshops were organized to share the new innovative research frontiers in the field of biomaterials and biological modelling for musculoskeletal applications. PhD Audrey Tourette Diallo (Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France), Prof. Christèle Combes (Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, Toulouse, France) and PhD Anja Heselich (Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany) presented advanced biomaterials for stimulating soft and hard tissue regeneration, and for enhancing the release of beneficial biomolecules, some of which are already under clinical testing. Moreover, a particular emphasis was also given to transversal skills. Indeed, Prof. Abhay Pandit (National University of Galway, Ireland) and Prof. Mauro Alini (AO Research Institute, Davos, Switzerland) presented not only their results concerning biomaterial testing with advanced techniques but also gave a rich overview of their brilliant and dynamic careers, suggesting useful advice for successfully conducting scientific research.

Prof. Christèle Combes, Prof. Abhay Pandit, Prof. Mauro Alini and Assoc. Prof. Kristaps Klavins delivered seminars on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of the school
A fun teambuilding activity was organized on the second day of the school

ESRs attended inspiring lectures and took an active role in captivating hands-on workshops that followed the seminars. The first workshop, led by Assoc. Prof. PhD Sergio Uribe from the hosting university, focused on utilizing the RStudio software for in vitro, in vivo and clinical data analysis. Through this workshop, the students gained valuable insights into optimizing their research outcomes and effectively and accurately presenting their results. The next day our ESRs dived deep into the fascinating yet intricate world of metabolomics with the guidance of PhD Kristaps Klavins, associated professor at the RTU. They learned that metabolomics represents a comprehensive study of metabolites, the small molecules that play a vital role in reflecting the state of the cells. During the workshop, the young researchers had the opportunity to interpret and comprehend real data, enhancing their understanding of this captivating field.

Assoc. Prof. Sergio Uribe delivered a talk on statistics. ESRs together with professors had a chance to apply knowledge during hands-on workshops on R and metabolomics
In the teams of ESRs and professors, PREMUROSA and RiseUs2 members explored the Old City of Riga during a quest organized by hosts

But that is not all – the last day of summer school was all about science communication. Prof. Saša Novak from the Slovenian PREMUROSA partner “Science on the Street” (Znanost na cesti) and the scientific journalist Petra Prešeren held an engaging communication workshop during which they showed the ESRs effective techniques to successfully convey their research to a broader audience. ESRs were provided with tips and tricks that honed their skills in preparing research papers for prestigious journals, and they were interviewed about their research to target the general public. 

With the help of Prof. Saša Novak and journalist Petra Prešeren, ESRs trained on how to give a good interview for a broad audience and how to make a successful science pitch

Overall, the school was an outstanding success! The ESRs not only immersed themselves in lectures and workshops but also fostered valuable connections and networks throughout the entire program. Thanks to the thoughtful team-building activities organized by our partners in Riga, everyone had an enriching and pleasant time. Enthusiasm and participation of both ESRs and supervisors were always present as they eagerly waited for the next opportunity to meet again in their scientific journey. In this final network school, we did not say goodbye to each other but new hellos!

The 4th PREMUROSA Summer School was a success. And we are not saying goodbye!

Secondment Tornado

Lately, our early-stage researchers have been busy with their secondments – and a lot are still ongoing. We interviewed some of them to find out more about their experience.

Our ESR5 Ksenia Menshikh had an interesting and quite engaging stay at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy of the University of Belgrade for her first secondment. Ksenia’s main objective was to cultivate cells under physiologically relevant conditions using biomimetic perfusion bioreactors. She was first trained in assembling and working with bioreactors after which she was ready to use them in her 3D in vitro cell culture. During her secondment, she was tightly collaborating with our ESR4 Ivana Banicevic.

Ivana Banicevic and Ksenia Menshikh are working with cell cultures – Belgrade, Serbia

Besides, a lot of things were happening outside the lab. Ksenia and Ivana participated in the EU-funded ExcellMater Project (GA No 952033) School on biomaterials aimed for dental and orthopaedic applications – they had an opportunity to present their studies during poster presentations and also passed the school’s final exam thus obtaining 2 ECTS! Even more, the ESRs took advantage of promoting the Premurosa project at the FTM anniversary. Finally, Ksenia’s stay was concluded with participation in the Young Researchers’ Conference (YRC) held in Belgrade from November 30 to December 2. YRC is the conference that brings together young researchers working in the field of materials science. Ksenia gave a speech on „Osteosarcoma in vitro: a step-by-step approach“ and won the award for the best presentation.

Ksenia Menshikh is delivering an oral presentation at YRC – Belgrade, Serbia

With the onset of 2023, another secondment started – this time in the far North, at Tampere University. ESRs Elżbieta Pańczyszyn and Virginia Gobbo, together with Prof. Jonathan Massera started their collaboration on the production and surface functionalization of silica-based bioactive glass. The goal is to optimize biomaterial’s biocompatibility and biofunctionality.

Elżbieta Pańczyszyn and Virginia Gobbo are producing bioactive glass – Tampere, Finland

Also in Finland, only this time in Helsinki, a collaboration started between ESRs Ilijana Kovrlija and Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani. Ilijana spent a month at Aalto University to grasp the basics of electrochemistry and to test her biomaterials’ potential as coatings on titanium discs.

Ilijana Kovrlija and Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani dealing with electrochemistry – Helsinki, Finland

Virginia Alessandra Gobbo started her secondment at AO Research Institute, and we asked her a couple of questions.

Q: What is the goal of this collaboration?

A: I started my secondment the first week of February and I will be here until the end of March for a two-month secondment. During this time, we will focus on bioactive glass surfaces, optimizing surface patterning protocols for bone tissue regeneration. The goal is to develop an innovative surface with patterned hydroxyapatite for applications in bone tissue engineering while improving protein adhesion and cell response.

Q: It sounds exciting! How are you going to do that?

A: We are working on different techniques which have been developed here in AO and we are optimizing the procedure for bioactive glass surfaces. It is an interesting and transversal collaboration during which the knowledge about surface patterning and biomaterial sciences are applied together for a further goal. It is really exciting to work with such a multidisciplinary approach, applying the experience that I got at Tampere University for new purposes in collaboration with other researchers.

Q: What are your thoughts about your secondment so far?

A: It is very enriching to collaborate with a new research group in the context of a research institute. The approach to research is slightly different compared to academia and this is very enriching from both the work and the human point of view. The environment is very warm and welcoming, and we had already the occasion also to spend some time together enjoying the beauty of the Swiss Alps. I am really looking forward to continuing this collaboration and visit more this beautiful country more!

Sunset in Davos captured by Virginia Alessandra Gobbo – Davos, Switzerland

Mari Lallukka spent her one-month secondment at a spin-off company AddPark under Btech Innovation, located in Ankara, Turkey. We asked her to share some thoughts while she was there.

Q: What is the goal of your secondment?

A: During the secondment, I will work to produce metallic materials for Polito – AddPark collaboration through additive manufacturing, specifically utilizing the selective laser melting (SLM) technique. After the secondment, I return to Polito with the produced parts and implement different surface treatments on them. Another objective of my secondment is to learn to work with 3D design software NTopology with the goal of examining the capillary effect, known to be related to the wettability effect, of scaffold 3D model lattice structures. For this purpose, we implement the hydraulic diameter purpose for the lattice design, to relate the hydraulic diameter size with a specific lattice structure type. The final goal is to discover the most suitable lattice type, pore size and porosity percentage for the best wettability result. This information can help us to improve implant osseointegration. 

Q: What are your thoughts about this secondment so far?

A: I really appreciate this opportunity to get a glimpse of the daily life of an R&D engineer in a technical spin-off company like AddPark. Previously I have only worked in university research laboratories, so this experience is very new and exciting for me. One of the best parts of the PREMUROSA project for me is the possibility to get experience from different countries and work environments both from the academic and industrial sectors. It has also been super interesting to gain a deeper understanding of the computer-aided design process of biomedical parts and learn to use different software for that purpose. I can’t wait to finally produce and print out our designs to actual tangible scaffolds! 

Mari Lallukka is optimizing the model for future printing – Ankara, Turkey

And not long after, the collaboration between Ksenia Menshikh and Ivana Banicevic continued. This time Ivana is on her first secondment at Università del Piemonte Orientale, to focus on making a 3D cell culture model for studying osteosarcoma. Ivana will get a chance to upgrade her technical skills and enjoy charming Italian culture, all at the same time.

Ksenia Menshikh and Ivana Banicevic explore cells within the scaffolds – Novara, Italy

Nicola Di Marzio travelled to Portugal for his secondment at i3S – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health:

“The goal of my secondment is to create a 3D tissue model of the neurovascular coupling. I would like to use my biofabrication knowledge acquired at the AO Research Institute Davos for a new challenging topic. Specifically, I am interested in studying if a spatially organized capillary network can guide the growth of the neural axons from a Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) tissue explant. This model can allow us to study neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or it can represent a promising approach in regenerative medicine applications.

My expectations are to gain experience from scientists working in a different field than mine, acquiring knowledge on the use of tissue explants for the biofabrication of in vitro models. Moreover, I expect to be exposed to different working and social environments which could complement my skills and help me to expand my network in my professional and personal life.

I already spent 2 weeks out of 3 months secondment period in the i3S research institute working in the Neuro & Skeletal Circuits group led by Professor Meriem Lamghari. This collaboration couldn’t start better, I felt welcome, and I had great support from the other students and scientists in the group which introduced me to the new working place. Finally, I had to change from the landscape of the Swiss mountains to the ocean vibe offered by living in Porto. I am looking forward to exploring what it has to offer.”

Emine Kahraman and Nicola Di Marzio work together on a 3D tissue model – Porto, Portugal

New Special Issue In Biomedicines, MDPI

We welcome you to contribute with your research to the new special issue in Biomedicines, MDPI – “Malignant and Potentially Malignant Disorders of the Oral Cavity: Updates from Pathogenesis to Therapy 2.0”! This Special Issue will focus on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of malignant and potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity, but will not be limited to only these aspects.

One-third to go

33 months passed since the start of the PREMUROSA project, and we are sincerely grateful to have so many remarkable things happening during this time. Are you ready for a wrap-up? Our story starts in November 2021…

Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani, ESR11 from Aalto University, got a paper published in the “Ceramics International“ journal. In this paper, Aydin deposited a layer of manganese oxide nanoparticles on tantalum-based implants to increase the corrosion performance in post-surgery inflammation. In Maastricht, the Netherlands, in the context of the 6th TERMIS World Congress a session took place in which the most recent outcomes from three European projects funded by Horizon 2020 – PREMUROSA, PANBioRA and ExcellMater – were exposed and discussed, with the aim to share the most significant and promising results. Based on these outcomes, ESR4 Ivana Banićević prepared a review that was successfully published in the scientific journal “Chemical Industry”. Virginia Alessandra Gobbo, ESR3, gave a short speech about protein adsorption on bioglass at the “Research Day” at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland!

In December, Virginia Alessandra continued to surprise us and presented her research on bioactive glasses at the 14th Pacific Rim Conference on Ceramic and Glass Technology, an important international event concerning new frontiers in material science, with a special focus on ceramics and glasses. And ESR9 Hugo Abreu got the most precious Christmas present: his review was published on 24th December in “Cells” (Special Issue “Cell Therapies in Orthopaedics”). In his paper, Hugo analyzed the promising role of extracellular vesicles in musculoskeletal regeneration.

In January ESR8 Clive Jabangwe submitted a review focused on the relationship between inflammation and the sympathetic/peripheral nervous system. Also, the last outcomes of Clive’s research work in i3S have been anticipated, concerning how inflammation is affecting the neurotrophic effect in cartilage. January turned out to be rich not only in papers: Clive also participated in a public discussion about the importance of academic presentations at lab meetings and conferences.

In February ESR6 Nicola di Marzio started his thrilling secondment at the company Trustech, one of our project partners. He is looking forward to integrating his experiences into his current project at AO Foundation in Davos, Switzerland.

Nicola Di Marzio building up his skills in the fabrication of innovative platforms to study the perfusion of patterned microcapillary networks. Trustech, Chivasso, Italy

March brought us an update on available joint-on-chip models for Osteoarthritis. Read the review “Cutting-Edge Technologies for Inflamed Joints on Chip: How Close Are We?” prepared by ESR7 Emine Kahraman from i3S. It has provided the timeline evolution of different in vitro systems for cartilage tissue engineering applications. Also in March ESR2 Ilijana Kovrlija from RTU visited the Toulouse INP in France to participate in an interesting school organized by the RISEus2 and CIRIMAT. She learned how to move from the laboratory bench to the scaled-up production of medical devices: risks analysis, regulatory issues, standardization, technology transfer and other essentials.

Ilijana Kovrlija attended a summer school on moving from bench to industry in the field of biomaterials. Toulouse, France

In April Virginia Alessandra presented her research findings at the 26th International Congress on Glass in Berlin ICG2022! Her talk entitled “Bioactive glasses: surface modifications and their effects over protein adsorption” demonstrated how different compositions and surface modifications of bioactive glasses impact protein adsorption. In particular, her work focused on characterizing the substrates for fibronectin adsorption as a model protein. Affinity, surface distribution, and variation in the surface properties were then evaluated as a function of the composition/surface modification of the glass. Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani also shed more light on biomaterials: what about using smart hydrogels to deliver drugs and biological agents? His review paper was published in the “International Journal of Molecular Science” (MDPI).

Virginia Alessandra presenting at ICG2022. Berlin, Germany

May was pretty busy with meetings of PREMUROSA experts! The site visit of Bojana Obradovic and Jasmina Stojkovska from TMF of the University of Belgrade with research teams in CAAD of Università del Piemonte Orientale resulted in defined research objectives, experimental design for future collaborations as well as detailed plans for students exchange. UPO was also happy to organize a special seminar on sound-driven cell arrangement by Tiziano Serra from AO Foundation, Davos. We are looking forward to bringing to life our joint projects!

Marco Corazzari, Bojana Obradovic, Jasmina Stojkovska and Lia Rimondini after the ExcellMater presentation at UPO. Novara, Italy

And the summer was truly rich in schools and conferences! PREMUROSA visited the Scandinavian Society for Biomaterials‘ 15th Annual Meeting! Ilijana Kovrlija managed both helping with the conference organization and presenting the latest updates on her research activities during the poster session, Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani shared his experimental experience in the oral presentation session, and Ksenia Menshikh (ESR5) got an award from one of the Conference’s sponsors for the best poster. Latest advances in biomaterials engineering were elucidated during presentations of Tiziano Serra, Estrela Neto and Dagnija Loca, as well as by Meriem Lamghari bringing up interesting questions as a chairperson. Finally, networking would not be complete without a talk by Mauro Alini on how to build reliable collaborations!

Ilijana Kovrlija, Aydin Bordbar-Khiabani and Ksenia Menshikh at ScSB Annual Meeting. Jurmala, Latvia

ESR12 Mauro Nascimben presented his newly developed framework for screening molecular toxicity by quantized computational methods. He exposed a poster about his work in the context of the 3rd MMCS Congress in Rome. This recent and promising research (“Quantized computational QSAR framework for molecular toxicity virtual screening”) was performed in collaboration with Prof. Lia Rimondini (UPO). He also published his recent work about an innovative software suite for limb volume analysis for clinical applications in the scientific journal “Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology”.

Between the joint Excell Matter and PREMUROSA summer school in Belgrade and the hands-on workshop in Davos (scroll down to check these posts!) ESRs visited the first in-person TERMIS-EU 2022 congress after a long covid-break. Nicola Di Marzio gave an impressive talk titled “Controlling the shape of microcapillary networks in 3D in vitro models through sound patterning” – it brought up a really interesting discussion during the session on Biofabrication using extrinsic fields. Ivana Banicevic and Ksenia Menshikh presented their eye-catching posters on osteosarcoma 3D in vitro models.

Ksenia Menshikh, Nicola Di Marzio and Ivana Banicevic at TERMIS Conference European Chapter. Krakow, Poland

Finally, September – the end of our small wrap-up. We have already shared with you some joy directly from Bordeaux, thanks to the active participation of PREMUROSA in ESB 2022. We are also happy to share this work by the authorship of Mauro Nascimben proposing a novel analysis sequence combined with machine learning methods to classify multilabel datasets of gene expression levels published on BioData Mining (IF 4.079)! And for sure this month can not be imagined without European Researchers’ Night – take a look at these lively photos!

Ilijana Kovrlija and her colleague at RTU preparing for their chemical show for children. Riga, Latvia
Mari Lallukka and her colleague at POLITO are ready to tell the most interesting stories about biomaterials from their laboratory. Turin, Italy
Hugo Abreu, Ksenia Menshikh and their colleagues at UPO after their famous skeleton challenge. Novara, Italy

Vive la France! PREMUROSA at the ESB2022 conference in Bordeaux, France

This September, three of our ESRs had the opportunity to participate in the 32nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Biomaterials, taking place in the beautiful city of Bordeaux, France. The conference consisted of five full days devoted to networking, biomaterial sciences, and of course, to the great French culture and cuisine. As the conference motto “Innovative Biomaterials and Translational Research” suggests, the key mission of the ESB2022 was to promote interactions between basic researchers, applied scientists, clinicians, and industry to drive the development of innovations for clinical applications. In addition, the conference provided great opportunities, especially for young scientists, in the form of events organized by The Young Scientist Forum of the European Society for Biomaterials (YSF). The YSF workshops touched on several essential themes for young researchers, such as science communication, and the importance of mental health and life/work balance. Also the organized “meet the professor” lunches provided a unique mentoring possibility to share science experiences and learn from the expertise of the professors present.

All the 3 PREMUROSA ESRs took part in the conference through poster presentations. ESR1 Mari Lallukka presented her work “Optimized Functionalization of a Titanium Alloy Surface with the Antimicrobial Peptide Nisin”, while ESR2 Ilijana Kovrlija discussed “Incorporation and effect of lidocaine hydrochloride on octacalcium phosphate”. Finally, ESR3 Virginia Alessandra Gobbo introduced her results concerning “Fibronectin Adsorption On Surface-Modified Bioactive Glass S53P4 And Its Implication On Human Adipose Stem Cells Behavior”. Great job!

Prof. Jonathan Massera, ESRs Virginia Alessandra Gobbo, Mari Lallukka and Ilijana Kovrlija, Prof. Lia Rimondini and Prof. Andrea Cochis presenting PREMUROSA at ESB

Big thank you to the ESB2022 organizing committee, the conference was truly a success! Next year ESB moves to the Swiss Alps in Davos, we are already looking forward to ESB2023!


PREMUROSA hands-on workshop at AO Research Institute Davos

PREMUROSA ESRs welcomed by PREMUROSA partner organisation AO Research Institute. From left to right: Ksenia Menshikh (ESR5), Hugo Abreu (ESR9), Virginia Alessandra Gobbo (ESR3), Ivana Banićević (ESR4), Nina Hofmaenner, Mari Lallukka (ESR1), Ilijana Kovrlija (ESR2), Nicola di Marzio (ESR6), Elzbieta Panczyszyn (ESR10) and Aert Scheper (ESR13).

This month, PREMUROSA partner organisation AO Research Institute Davos organised a hands-on workshop for all ESRs at their institute in Davos, Switzerland. The goal of the workshop was to introduce and educate the ESRs to the possibilities that 3D printing offers in biomedical research, as well as their in-house developed sound patterning technique. The two-day course started with a broad introduction on 3D printing strategies and sound patterning. The 3D printing technique allows researchers to create 3D structures by extruding a bioink, which is a mixture of cells, hydrogels, and other biocompatible materials through a syringe equipped with a nozzle. Sound patterning allows the creation of patterns formed by various types of particles or cells within a hydrogel upon application of soundwaves to the suspension. The theory and physics behind these platforms were presented and discussed with the ESRs. The programme then continued with a tour to the research labs where the technologies were demonstrated by AO experts. Both hard and soft material 3D printing techniques were showcased. Afterwards, the ESRs were divided into groups of two to familiarise themselves with the biofabrication platforms. The experts at AO challenged the ESRs with technical problems to which the ESRs had to apply their newfound knowledge to provide solutions.

PREMUROSA ESRs are given an introduction on the sound patterning device by experts at AO Research Institute.

The following day the ESRs applied the taught skills in real cases by themselves. Soft hydrogel or rigid polymer-based scaffolds were 3D printed and the ESRs created structures similar to those they would use in their own projects at their home institutions. They 3D-printed soft hydrogel structures containing cells, and experienced the influence of instrument parameters, such as nozzle diameter and printing speed, on the resulting final product. Additionally, the ESRs operated the sound patterning device and investigated the effect of wave frequency and amplitude on the final pattern configuration, creating gel layers imprinted with intricate patterns of cells or calcium phosphate particles which were initially suspended within the crosslinkable liquid hydrogel. The afternoon programme consisted of a training session teaching the ESRs how to analyse the parameters of their created constructs using image analysis techniques offered by various software packages. The day concluded with ESRs presenting their experimental findings to the PREMUROSA consortium members and AO experts, such as the influence of the equipment parameters on the final constructs. Furthermore, each ESR presented insight on how the newly acquired skills could be applied in their own research. After receiving feedback from the experts and a fruitful discussion session, the participants were awarded a certificate of attendance, which closed the workshop!

PREMUROSA ESRs are being challenged by 3D bioprinting at AO Research Institute.

A big thank you to PREMUROSA partner AO Research Institute and to all the participants of this successful and interesting hands-on workshop!


Back Together: PREMUROSA Summer School in Belgrade

In the third week of June 2022, ESRs, professors and the representatives of the PREMUROSA project partners met for the second time within the summer school in Belgrade, Serbia. The 5-day meeting was a joint cluster event with the ExcellMater project and its project members. It consisted of a visit to the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade (FTM, UOB), where all the participants had an opportunity to attend various lectures and talks by our project partners, but also by the members of the ExcellMater project, and additionally ESRs had an exciting hands-on training, handful of social activities and the poster session.

The first two days of the event were dedicated to the ExcellMater seminar and the emphasis was mostly on Regulations and clinical utilization of novel biomaterials. Michael Gasik from the Aalto University familiarized the attendees with the regulatory landscape – MDR, ATMP and HTAR, while his colleague Katarina Dimic-Misic, gave an example lecture on it in relation to hydrogels. Matthew Allen, Ivo Schauwecker and Tracy Zhu from AO Foundation (ARI, Davos) presented the importance of ethics in preclinical/clinical research and a presentation on Randomized Clinical Trials. Project coordinator Lia Rimondini (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale) gave ESR and partners some useful tips and tricks for Clinical utilization of biomaterials for dental application. The first part of the summer school ended with ESRs having a marvellous poster session, where each of them had an opportunity to present their results and network with ESRs from ExcellMater.

The next two days were focused on the biomimetic bioreactors for tissue engineering purposes. Design, operation, challenges, and potential issues were discussed in detail by Bojana Obradovic and Jasmina Stojkovska (FTM) and by Sibylle Grad and Mauro Alini (ARI, Davos). Furthermore, Petar Uskokovic, Vesna Radojevic and Dusica Stojanovic (FTM) gave a lecture and demonstration on nanoindentation for biomaterials and tissues. All the valuable information ESRs have learned was used in the hands-on training on the set-up of the biomimetic bioreactor developed by FTM.

The last part of the lectures was dedicated to mathematical modelling and simulation presented by Manolo Venturin from Enginsoft. Additionally, consortium members had a chance to get together and discuss the progress of the project and make many other exciting plans for the next year. After the busy and productive days, ESRs had the possibility to explore the charming city of Belgrade and they were presented with a surprise team-building activity – Dragonboat rowing! Teams of ExcellMater members and PREMUROSA members had an amazing time learning the technique and racing among themselves while having a lot of fun together.

Summer school ended with a day full of communication! Our partners “Science on the Street” (Znanost na cesti), led by Saša Novak, held a Science Communication Workshop. All the ESRs had a unique chance to get out of their comfort zones and present themselves, their work and their abilities in an elevator pitch and real interviews with a journalist – Petra Prešeren. It was dynamic, cooperative and very beneficial for everyone involved!

Our second in-person meeting was truly a success, thanks to our highly motivated project members, and especially our great host and partner UOB. Spending time together, catching up with friends and enjoying everything Belgrade had to offer was truly a pleasure!! Now the only thing left to do is wait for our third and final summer school in Latvia, organized by our partner Riga Technical University.


Ilijana in Novara

As the project is moving forward, ESRs are given a chance to go on their planned secondments and explore all the possibilities the ITN (Innovative Training Networks) project offers. 

In the previous three months, our ESR2 Ilijana Kovrlija from Riga Technical University (RTU, Riga, Latvia) has visited the Center of Autoimmune and Allergic Diseases (CAAD, Novara, Italy) and got a chance to dabble in the field of biology and get a unique hands-on experience in cell culture laboratories. In this case, we had a special opportunity to have not one, not two, but four ESRs working together, developing new network connections and spending some quality time with each other. A quote from Ilijana best describes her vision of this secondment: “Before coming to CAAD, I had a big experience in material science, but never did I realize the complexity of connecting it with actual living things. I had a chance to learn from the best, and the push from my comfort zone led to so many great things. From learning how to work with cells and having a glimpse of how it is in the world of biology, to meeting so many amazing people and making friendships that will last much longer than our project”.

The host of Ilijana’s secondment was the laboratory of Prof. Lia Rimondini in CAAD – the research institute of the Università del Piemonte Orientale in Novara. The joint work of this institution and RTU, with Prof. Dagnija Loca’s lab, has been very fruitful and, as we can already see, it set the stone for many future projects and collaborations among our young scientists.

Ilijana and Ksenia working together with cells and biomaterials

Finally All Together: The 2nd PREMUROSA Network School in Porto, October 2021

On October 20-22nd, the ESRs and the representatives of the PREMUROSA project partners finally got the opportunity to meet in person in terms of the second network school and mid-term check held in Porto, Portugal. The 3-day meeting consisted of a visit to the Instituto Nacional de Engenharia Biomédica (INEB) facilities, various informative training sessions and talks by our project partners, and highly anticipated chances to interact and network between the consortium members.

The first two days of the meeting were dedicated to the second network school. The ESRs and the project partners had a chance to familiarize themselves with the Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S) and their laboratory facilities, followed by interactive lecture sessions, and project progress presentations by the ESRs. Maria Lazaro from INEB provided us information regarding bioimaging applications, João Vinagre and Hugo Prazeres from INEB, and Tiziano Serra from AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) gave us inspiring insights into the world of intellectual property rights, and examples of creating and managing start-ups in the biomedical field.

The following day the network school continued with sessions regarding various topics. The day was opened by Michael Gasik from Aalto University engaging us with his talk about biomechanology, followed by Tiziano Serra’s (ARI) lecture concerning biofabrication. We also had the pleasure to learn about neuroskeletal interactions in a speech delivered by Cecilia Juliana Alves (INEB), and about microfluidics by Laura Boschis from Trustech (TRS). The successful day culminated with the official consortium dinner with a breath-taking view over Porto city.

The final day of the meeting was dedicated to the project midterm check with the REA project officer, where ESRs successfully delivered their progress presentations along with the project coordinator Lia Rimondini (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, UPO). After the busy and productive days, the official part of the meeting was closed, and the ESRs had possibilities to explore the beautiful Porto city before returning to their institutes.

PREMUROSA’s second network school was truly a success, thanks to our highly motivated project members and especially our great host and partner INEB. Visiting Porto together and finally interacting in presence was truly a pleasure! The highly awaited second opportunity to gather all together again will be in Belgrade, Serbia, where the third network school will take place in June 2022, hosted by the University of Belgrade (UOB).

Finally all together – in life!

Serbian lady-scientists on their way to discover a cure for the serious diseases

The RasTv in Serbia has broadcasted a story about the Biomedical Engineering Group led by Prof. Bojana Obradovic in which she and ESR Ivana Banicevic also talked about the Premurosa project (in Serbian).


Our Young Scientists’ Achievements

Our ESRs were incredibly busy in doing and promoting science this year. Numerous activities reflect their passion and determination to be successful young scientists. Here we will familiarize you with their top achievements so far but bear in mind that the list is not full for the sake of space.

We are very proud to announce that Hugo (ESR9) won 2nd place in the first UPO Science Slam. Premurosa’s fellows are also fully aware that promoting science is a good opportunity to share knowledge while having fun at the same time. Ksenia (ESR5), Elzbieta (ESR10), Hugo and Ilijana (ESR2) had a great time on the well-known manifestation Researcher’s Night 2021 where the citizens got to know their work. Similarly, Ivana (ESR4) was pleased to attend the International Festival of Innovation, Knowledge and Creativity, Tesla Fest 2021 held in Serbia. Some of the ESRs managed to be very active in presenting their work at conferences:

– Ilijana gave a talk at the 61st International Scientific Conference, Materials Science and Applied Chemistry. Also, she presented posters at the Scandinavian Society for Biomaterials Conference 2021 – she was a winner of the rapid-fire presentation – and at the 31st Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials.

– Mauro (ESR 12) spoke on „Forest embeddings for gene expression data modelling of tumour stage and survival in bladder cancer”, Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Metrology 2021 Virtual Workshop.

– Nicola (ESR6) delivered speeches at the World Biomaterials Congress 2020 and the International Conference on Biofabrication 2021. Additionally, he presented posters at the International Society For Biofabrication (ISBF) Twitter Poster Conference 2021 and TERMIS 2021 World Congress.

We’re delighted to point out the most recent publication of Premurosa’s fellows which is one by Aydin (ESR11): „Surface functionalization of anodized tantalum with Mn3O4 nanoparticles for effective corrosion protection in simulated inflammatory condition”, Ceramics International, October 2021. You can check his article for more details! We would like to end this post by informing you about an upcoming Research Day at Tempere University where Virginia (ESR3) will present her studies. Let’s wish luck to Virginia!

Ilijana Kovrlija participates in the online conference. Pandemic forces people to become creative!
Hugo Abreu competes in Science Slam.
Congratulations on the 2nd place, Hugo!

“Scientists without Borders”: PREMUROSA participated in Researchers’ Night

Four ESRs from PREMUROSA promoted Science to youngsters and their families at the event held by Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO). Elżbieta Pańczyszyn, Ilijana Kovrlija, Ksenia Menshikh, and Hugo Abreu prepared fun tasks to light a spark for Science in children. Teams competed in assembling a full-size skeleton as fast as possible and created their first lung model from plastic bottles, straws and balloons.

The XVI edition of the Researchers’ Night held by UPO took place in Alessandria, Italy, on October 15th. ESRs collaborated with Prof. Diego Cotella to create different activities engaging the young generation in Science simply and interactively. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. The feedback from the future generation of scientists and their parents was very positive, as well as from ESRs themselves who were happy to share their work. “It was truly a pleasure to be involved in the event and to help promote the PREMUROSA project, UPO and Science itself to the community of Alessandria.” – says Hugo. Even without speaking Italian fluently, the ESRs showed that Science has no borders and that its language is universal!

Ilijana, Hugo, Elżbieta and Ksenia in Alessandria, Italy
Competition in assembling a paper skeleton
Lung model from bottles, straws and balloons

Press release: November 3, 2020 

New young researchers in PREMUROSA presented their projects linked to new therapies of musculoskeletal disorders  

GoToTraining, October 19-23, 2020 – The partners of PREMUROSA, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative training network, first “met” the thirteen young researchers, collected in a few months highly competitive process. During the 5-days First network school that took place from 19-23 October, they presented themselves and their projects, which will significantly contribute to new technologies and new therapies for musculoskeletal disorders.

The 4-years project PREMUROSA kicked off in January 2020. The project combines ICT, biomedicine and material science competencies to increase the application of precision medicine approaches in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Its main objective is to train a new generation of tissue engineering scientists from multiple European countries to develop new technologies and new therapies for musculoskeletal disorders.  

In October the project team organized a five-day network school, which was held online during this unpredictable time. A total of 53 participants representing all project partners attended the event. One of the main goals of the network school was to meet for the first time the 13 young researchers, to learn about them and their assigned research projects and to provide them with an insight into project structure, goals and scheduled obligations. 

Lia Rimondini, the project coordinator and a professor at the University of Eastern Piedmontsaid: “The meeting was a success. The young researchers interacted with each other and with their supervisors enthusiastically. They are very talented, proactive and willing to explore new research frontiers.”

The project meeting was opened on October 19 by Rimondini’s general overview of the PREMUROSA project and presentation of consortium partners. Following Rimondini’s introduction, external expert Elisaveta Kon delivered a presentation on translational aspects in musculoskeletal regeneration, combining material science with clinical aspects. Presentation of the early-stage researchers (ESR) and tutors, with a short overview of their assigned research projects and an overview of their scheduled obligations, closed the first day of the network event. 

In the following days of the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to listen to various lectures and workshops. One of the key topics was research integrity, “which is based on the foundations of four principles of reliability -ensuring the quality of research; honesty -transparent, fair, full and unbiased; respect -for oneself and others; and accountability -idea to publication,” explainedAbhay Pandit from the National University of Ireland Galway in his presentation. 

Roberto Cippitani from the European Cooperation in Research and Education (EU CORE) offered a general overview of the main rules and approaches governing Open Access and Open Data obligations in the framework of H2020, in addition, Rimondini and Irene Liverani from EU CORE explained all the relevant aspects related to event organization, such as fundraising, venue and timing, needed infrastructure etc.

Other topics of the network school focused on Ethics issues in Research and Technology product development, EU initiatives to fund research and intellectual Property Rights. Science on the Street, the science promotion institute organized a short communication exercise, during which the fellows got to know each and afterwards Ilijana Kovrlija and Clive Jabangwe as a chair and co-chair of the Fellows board.  

Ilijana Kovrlija, researcher hosted by Riga Technical University and working on smart personalized degradable biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration, commented that “the meeting was eagerly awaited among the ESRs and even though the Zoom conferences are a new experience to all attending, everything was very well organized, with interactive and diverse content, that still managed to bring about the social aspect of these ITN meetings”.

The next Network school is to be held in Porto in April 202; whilst the First Dissemination Meeting will be held in Slovenia on the 14th of September. 

ABOUT THE PREMUROSA PROJECT

PREMUROSA is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network – European Joint Doctorates programme, funded by the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The project’s aim is to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. 

The consortium comprises 11 European partner institutions led by the University of Eastern Piedmont (Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, Italy), and 6 non-academic partners and companies specializing in the biomedical field.

Follow the project on the website: https://premurosa.eu/

LinkedIn: Premurosa Project

Twitter: Follow@ThePremurosa 

Facebook: @Premurosa

Press Release

New PREMUROSA project will improve the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders 

A group of international partners from Italy, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Latvia, Serbia and Switzerland launched an EU funded project Precision medicine for musculoskeletal regeneration, prosthetics, and active ageing – PREMUROSA. The 3-years programme main objective is to train a new generation of tissue engineering scientists from multiple European countries to develop new technologies and new therapies for musculoskeletal disorders. 

Musculoskeletal diseases are reported to affect roughly half of those over 60, strongly impacting the quality of life and posing a significant burden on healthcare and welfare systems. Treatment of musculoskeletal disorders is currently based either on prosthetic or regenerative surgical procedures, often involving medical device implantation, compromising the effectiveness of treatments. 

A significant improvement could be achieved by precision medicine, specifically designed on patient’s individual characteristics. This requires new and highly skilled professionals who will develop new strategies for translating tissue engineering innovations into useful information to customise therapies, taking into account the characteristics of each patient. 

The project aims at training a new generation of scientists with an integrated vision of the whole value chain in musculoskeletal regeneration technologies and able to boost the necessary innovations to achieve precision principles in developing innovative devices and optimized clinical applications. 

A total of 13 students from the field of medical and health sciences, clinical medicine, surgery and surgical procedure will be selected to take part in the interdisciplinary project and earned their PhD degrees. Students will be hosted by a member of a European consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Ireland and Serbia. 

Young researchers will gain advanced knowledge and skills, through an innovative combination of academic, industrial and clinical experience and training. They will benefit from an excellent scientific environment, up-date technologies and supervision by international leaders in the field. 

The successful implementation of PREMUROSA will not only set the ground for innovative PhD training but will also contribute in meeting important SOCIAL CHALLENGES, such as optimisation of clinical choices and therefore improvement of quality of life of patients and reduction of healthcare system costs. Moreover, industrial competitiveness will be substantially boosted due to medical devices optimisation and the development of new products in the project. 

The consortium comprises eleven European partner institutions led by the University of Eastern Piedmont (Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, Italy), and several non-academic partners and companies specialising in the biomedical field. 

Kickoff meeting

Among the 11 partner organisations are: University of Eastern Piedmont (Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, Italy), Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute (Bologna, Italy), Aalto University Foundation (Aalto, Finland), AO Research Institute Davos (Davos, Switzerland), Riga Technical University (Riga, Latvia), Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia), INEB—National Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Porto (Porto, Portugal), Polytechnic University of Turin (Turin, Italy), EnginSoft SpA (Trento, Italy), Tampere University of Technology, (Tampere, Finland), National University of Ireland Galway (Galway, Ireland). 

PREMUROSA is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network – European Joint Doctorates programme, funded by the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The project aims to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.