In December 2020, MedUni Vienna awarded the title “Researcher of the Month” to Sylvia Nürnberger, head of the cartilage regeneration group at LBI Trauma. The award was presented to her on the occasion of the study “Repopulation of an auricular cartilage scaffold, AuriScaff, perforated with an enzyme combination” published in the Top Journal Acta Biomaterialia.
The publication was created as part of the CartiScaff project, a cooperation between MedUni Vienna, LBI Trauma, the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien and the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, which was funded by the FFG and led by Sylvia Nürnberger. CartiScaff's goal was to develop improved biomaterials for the treatment of post-traumatic cartilage defects. Biomaterials currently in clinical use are consistently very soft and can hardly protect the implanted cells from stress in the joint until the new cartilage matrix is formed. Moreover, the often random architecture of the materials does not represent an adequate guidance system for the formation of new cartilage matrix with the collagen fiber alignment typical for articular cartilage. AuriScaff consists of bovine cartilage matrix and offers improved mechanical properties and a natural environment for the cells.