Partner 1: Co-ordinating partner

The University Hospital Basel, (UHBS), Basel, Switzerland

The Laboratory of Tissue Engineering belongs to the Institute of Surgical Research and Hospital Management within the University Hospital Basel, thus providing close interactions between laboratory and clinical applications.The multi-disciplinary group includes biologists, engineers and clinical staff, has a wide network of cooperation with international biotech industries and academic institutes and is funded by internal and external grants acquired on a competitive basis. The core competence of the group lies in the bioreactor-based establishment and maintenance of functional 3D tissue constructs, as models to study tissue development and as grafts for cartilage and bone repair.

UHBS has extensive knowledge in bioreactor development and automation. Bioreactor-based systems have been used successfully with different scaffolds for the generation of small and large cartilage and bone constructs of clinically relevant size. Furthermore UHBS has extensive experience in chondrocyte biology and differentiation as well as in the characterisation and quality assessment of cartilage constructs. UHBS has established a quality management system approved by the Swiss regulatory authority (Swissmedic) for the production of cellular grafts. A first clinical trial using autologous cell-based cartilage grafts generated at UHBS for the reconstruction of the nose following tumour resection is ongoing.

Role in the project: As the coordinator of the project, UHBS is responsible for project management. It will also be involved in the development and qualification of the bioreactor used for the production of the cartilage grafts and, in close collaboration with the University of Bristol, define release criteria for the transplant. UHBS will also provide support for manufacturing, the clinical study and dissemination.