FH Technikum Wien and LBI Trauma receive futurezone Award
Every year, the futurezone Award honours outstanding projects in science, technology and sustainability. This year, the prize in the Health Tech category was awarded to the inventors of the MagneTissue bioreactor. The project is based on a collaboration between FH Technikum Wien and LBI Trauma and is therefore the latest success story from the Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration.
Nerve injuries are a considerable burden for patients and sometimes lead to the loss of motor and sensory functions. Common therapeutic approaches rely on nerve grafts from the patient’s own body, but this sacrifices a healthy nerve. The aim of tissue engineering is to regenerate new tissue in the laboratory so that we no longer have to rely on donor nerves.
Carina Hromada and Andreas Teuschl-Woller are experts in the field of bioreactors, while David Hercher, head of our neuroregeneration group, contributes his many years of experience in neuroregeneration. Together they have developed a pioneering approach: the MagneTissue bioreactor enables the production of high-quality artificial nerve transplants by mimicking the natural healing process in the body. The cells grow on ribbons of protein hydrogels that are mechanically stimulated by motorised magnets – as would be the case with movement processes in the body. This results in active stretching, after which the Schwann cells, which are essential for healing, align themselves longitudinally.
The research team has had their innovative process patented internationally. In the future, it could be used to provide valuable implants to replace lost nerves. The cultivated nerves can also be used to test drugs against nerve diseases. According to the team, this saves costs and reduces animal testing.
The MagneTissue bioreactor is another fruit of the long-standing collaboration and good neighbourly relations between LBI Trauma and FH Technikum Wien. As members of the Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, this co-operation demonstrates the successes that are possible through symbiotic relationships between cluster members.