The common denominator of the research projects performed in the Cartilage Engineering Group (Prof. Dr. Andrea Barbero) is related to the establishment of three-dimensional culture systems, combining interdisciplinary efforts in cell biology, engineered technologies and materials science. These systems are used as model to investigate fundamental aspects of tissue (mainly cartilage) development, and as grafts to induce tissue regeneration.
Prof. Barbero`s group demonstrated that adult human nasal chondrocytes (NCs) display a large degree of plasticity and unique regenerative properties. Two phase I clinical trials at the University Hospital Basel demonstrating that engineered grafts based of nasal chondrocytes can be safely used for the treatment of nasal and articular cartilage. A phase II clinical study is now ongoing to assess the efficacy of such experimental procedure.
Currently, the potential of NCs for intervertebral disc (IVD) repair is being explored.
- Tissue Engineering
- 3D models for cartilage repair
- Developing a GMP-compliant manufacturing protocol for the generation of cartilage grafts