The EIC Pathfinder grant, worth €2.987.776 over three years, will enable the 4-Deep Brain Reconstruction (4-DBR) consortium to generate a brand-new technological approach to recover brain affections that occur in neurological disorders. Regenerative medicine offers an opportunity to treat patients with neurodegenerative disorders by implanting healthy tissues in the existing damaged brain areas. Nevertheless, the complexity of the human brain has challenged advances in this field. The 4-DBR consortium, coordinated by IDIBAPS, intends to create a breakthrough in the field by using the latest technology alongside their expertise in molecular biology, bioprinting, and optogenetics. The project will develop a 4D mini-brain that mimics the complex cellular architecture and diversity of brain cells, integrated into a bioprintable scaffold.
The project will be developed by a joint effort of six outstanding research labs from the IDIBAPS (Spain), the University of Barcelona (UB, Spain), Poietis (France), Verigraft AB (Sweden), the Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU, Denmark) and the Ospedale San Raffaele SRL (OSR, Italy). The six partners of 4-DBR will unite their expertise in complementary fields to develop each of the components of reconstructed brains. The final product will be the most complex and biologically-similar brain structure developed to date. The consortium hopes that 4-DBR will thrust the reconstructed brain approach up the development ladder to potentially generate in 10 years a therapy to change the lives of many patients suffering neurodegenerative disorders. Josep M. Canals, researcher of the IDIBAPS group Pathophysiology and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, associate professor at Biomedical Sciences Department and director of Creatio of the University of Barcelona, leads the Consortium and affirms that “this revolutionary approach will open new strategies to regenerate the brain for many neurodegenerative diseases that will increase the healthiness of patients affected by one of these devastating disorders”. As proof of concept, the consortium will focus on the treatment of Huntington’s disease, a monogenetic disorder that has no cure.
The EIC Pathfinder grants support the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. These prestigious and highly competitive grants under the Horizon Europe program aim to ensure that Europe remains at the driving seat of innovation. They welcome the high-risk/high-gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs.