Research

Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS to participate in European TRIANKLE project to develop regenerative therapies for ankle injuries

Researchers of Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS participate in the European TRIANKLE project, which aims to develop regenerative therapies in the form of implants for the regeneration of ankle joint tissues, injuries that have a major impact on the quality of life of different segments of the population and on the economy of health systems in countries all around the world.

This project, which is part of the European Horizon 2020 program, has a budget of 5.9 million euros and will be launched next January. The participants from Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS are Dr. Gil Rodas, head of the Sports Medicine Unit of the Hospital Clínic-Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona, and Dr. Joaquim Forés, orthopedic surgeon and member of the Hospital's Ethics Committee.

Over four years, the companies and institutions that form part of the consortium will aim to create innovative personalized collagen and gelatin-based implants manufactured with 3D technology for patients with tendinopathies as common as Achilles tendon partial ruptures and articular and osteoarthritis cartilage injuries. 

Tendinopathies and osteoarthritis are extremely common, especially among the elderly, women, and professional sportspeople, and both have a substantial impact on their quality of life and on healthcare systems of economies worldwide. It is estimated that osteoarthritis entails €76.5 billion every year, while tendinopathies have an estimated expenditure above €140,000 million.

The TRIANKLE project aims to fill the critical gap of proper treatments as to date. “None of the existing surgical or non-surgical alternatives have provided a successful long-term effect, and often the treated tissues do not restore their complete strength and functionality”, explains Dr. Rodas”. “In this context, TRIANKLE’s objectives will be to reduce the time of recovery down to 50% and to increase the functionality ratios of the injured tissue up to 10-15%”, he adds. 

Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS takes part in this project together with eleven other organizations from five different European countries (Germany, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, and United Kingdom) covering a broad spectrum including highly-skilled private companies in biomaterials, 3D bioprinting technology, research centres, universities, sports clubs, foundations and healthcare institutions, namely: FC Barcelona; Naturin Viscofan GmbH, industry partner and project coordinator; the companies Cellink AB, Cambridge Nanomaterials Technology and Gradocell SL, two research centres: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. and Acondicionamiento Tarrasense Associacion (LEITAT); three universities; University of Sttutgart, Universidad del País Vasco and Eindhoven University of Technology; Osteoartritis Foundation International, a non-profit organisations.

The TRIANKLE project will contribute to unlocking the potential of innovative 3D printing technology for regenerative medical applications and ultimately enable the commercialization of 3D printing personalized regenerative solutions. Furthermore, the project will launch a Technological Platform that will enable the development of future regenerative therapies of joint tissues in weight-bearing joints.