International Network for Translating Research on Perinatal Derivatives into Therapeutic Approaches (SPRINT)

The International Network for Translating Research on Perinatal Derivatives into Therapeutic Approaches – SPRINT is a COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) project that allows excellent researchers and clinicians in the field of innovation to cooperate and jointly develop their ideas in scientific and technology sectors. The SPRINT project, proposed and coordinated by Professor Ornella Parolini (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy), brings together experts in terms of academic, clinical, and industrial knowledge from over 25 international countries, in order to improve the basic understanding and the clinical translation of perinatal derivatives.

In the last decade different perinatal derivatives (such as placenta-derived cells and the bioactive factors secreted by these cells), have proven to be therapeutically effective. This research field is growing rapidly and its importance is supported by recent clinical studies carried out in Europe and worldwide. SPRINT deals with different issues that need to be faced in order to ensure optimal research results and interpretation of clinical trial data. These include obtaining consensus for the nomenclature and for the optimal techniques for the isolation, characterization, cryopreservation, and expansion of perinatal derivatives. SPRINT also addresses more complex issues, such as the understanding of mechanisms and therapeutic actions of perinatal derivatives and the collection of basic research data useful for designing clinical trials. Furthermore, SPRINT helps to identify research gaps so as to guide future research on perinatal derivatives and streamline translation to the clinic. This project develops a platform for the exchange of ideas and methods and for the training of young researchers. The results obtained from this COST Action will increment the impact of the research on public and private decision-making bodies, on Patient Associations, and also on local communities.

For more information on the SPRINT COST Action and/or to join our Action visit the Action website and


Age-related diseases continue to be a major challenge in our modern ageing society, where the number of people over 65 is expected to double within the next 50 years. Age is the most important risk factor for stroke, heart attacks, diabetes and many other chronic diseases. The translation of new findings is hampered by a lack of suitable preclinical models, validated endpoints or regulatory framework.

The main objective of MouseAGE is to form a network of European scientists, clinicians, industrial partners and regulatory affairs experts with multidisciplinary expertise to define best practice on preclinical interventions in mouse models of age and age-related disorders. By producing clear guidelines on issues such as endpoints, methodology and types of measurements as well as models, the translation of findings to the clinics can be accelerated.

Funding agency: COST Action
Project number: MB1402

Wings for Life

Extracorporeal shockwave treatment of spinal cord injury.

In course of our most recent Wings for Life project we examine the effect of low-energy extracorporeal shockwave treatment on the functional, morphological and molecular level in sub-acute and chronic phases of traumatic spinal cord injury.


A highly porous bioinert bone implant.

Running since 2017.

In course of the project HOBBIT, funded by the Vienna Business Agency Co-Create 2017, we are investigating the bone healing potential of a minimal voluminous, highly stable load-bearing scaffold combined with a gene activated matrix.

The aim is to create a bone scaffold that provides sufficient mechanical strength to be implanted in load-bearing bone defect sites with a gene-matrix system, achieving a localized transient expression of growth factors leading to a functional tissue formation as replacement for autologous grafts.


Optimization of the efficacy of adipose-derived stem cell secretome against inflammation and organ failure following trauma. Running since 2016.


Evolution – Age – Gender – Lifestyle  -Environment: mitochondrial fitness mapping. Running since 2016.


European Network of Bioadhesion Expertise. Running since 2016.

ENBA is part of the COST network (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), uniting experts in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and engineering the study biological adhesion.

Bioadhesives are produced by a vast variety of animals: the salamander Ambystoma opacum, the snail Helix pomatia, the bobtail squid Idiosepius biserialisMytilus mussels and many more. Also plants rely on the secretion of adhesives, most noticeably in the sticky traps of carnivorous plants. Knowledge about these materials in terms of composition, structural design and interactions with surfaces is necessary to reveal the basic biochemical and mechanical principles involved in biological adhesion. The aim is to find adhesives which are not only equal to or better than common synthetically produced glues, but also distinguish themselves through better biocompatibility.

Signaling Implant

Implants signal to bone for bone growth and attachment.

Running since 2015.

In course of the project Signaling Implant, funded by, we aim to design new multifunctional bone implants with specific chemistry, topography and electrical potential features to stimulate bone growth. Active sites for bone attachment allow faster bone bonding and a stronger level of attachment.

Arrest Blindness

Corneal blindness is the second largest cause of blindness globally and while treatable, millions remain unnecessarily blind due to issues of access to transplantable tissue, lack of standardized treatments, and the lag in translating new regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic. The objective of Arrest Blindness is therefore to develop and validate new regenerative-based therapies addressing a spectrum of blinding disorders of the cornea. These conditions either have no effective current treatments, depend on a scarce supply of donor tissue, or non-standardized methods are hindering validation of promising regenerative treatments.

Arrest Blindness directly addresses the translation of regenerative medicine, bio-artificial organs, tissue engineered scaffolds, and advanced cell and gene therapies into clinical use and will help to alleviate the worldwide problem of corneal blindness.


„EXPERTISSUES – Network of Excellence (NoE) on Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Tissue Engineering of Bone and Cartilage Using Second Generation Biomimetic Scaffolds“

Coordinator: Rui L. Reis (University of Minho, Portugal)

This Network involves 20 partners of 13 countries; being 3 Industrial partners (this includes a range of the best groups on Tissue Engineering at the European level, companies like Cell Med, MATERIALISE NV, Kedrion and the collaboration of excellent groups of USA, Canada and Singapure).

Abgeschlossene Projekte

  • 01


    Project title: “Enhancing the regeneration of bone defects in elderly: Rejuvenation of bone microenvironment” (Horizon 2020)

    Bone defects resulting from traumatic injuries, tumor resection and bone diseases represent one of the most pressing health problems in the aging European population.

    Currently, treatment success in elderly patients is severely limited due to the declining functionality of bone cells during aging, which results from multiple cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic mechanisms. The aim of our project is to develop a new multidisciplinary approach to enhance the regeneration of bone defects in elderlybased on recent advances in cellular reprogramming and tissue engineering.

    We are investigating extrinsic microenvironment components derived from young bone cells to enhance the function of aged or diseased bone cells from traumatology patients. Our aim is to develop novel, cell-free, off-the-shelf bone tissue substitutes with the capacity to improve bone healing.
    In addition, our studies are providing new insights into bone regenerative mechanisms during aging and valuable human bone cell and bone tissue models applicable to basic biology studies and translational research.

    Short title: “RejuvenateBone”
    Funding Agency: European Comission Horizon 2020
    Project type: Horizon 2020 MSCA Individual Fellowship
    Project number: 657716
    Project start: April 2015
    Project duration: 24 months
    Project status: Completed project

  • 02


    Adipose Tissue: A wasted resource. Running 2014 – 2017

  • 03


    A novel concept for cartilage regeneration. 2013 – 2017

  • 04


    Die Fluoreszenzmikroskopie gehört zu den bedeutendsten Technologien der biomedizinischen Forschung. Die große Vielfalt mikroskopischer Methoden fordert ausgefeilte, individuell adaptierbare Methoden der Bildverarbeitung, die große Mengen an Daten, Hintergrundsignale und Bilder mit schlechtem Kontrast verarbeiten können. Die korrekte Identifikation von Objekten im Mikro- oder Nanometer-Bereich spielt eine wichtige Rolle in der Diagnose bzw. in der Prädiktion des Verlaufs von Krankheiten sowie die Bewertung des Therapieerfolgs.

    Im Rahmen von „NanoDetect“ wird ein innovatives Software-Framework für die Analyse von Mikroskopiebildern entwickelt; großes Augenmerk wird dabei auf die Untersuchung von einzelnen Molekülen in Zellen gelegt. Die Analyse von Aufnahmen kleinster Strukturen soll somit automatisiert und vereinfacht werden. Dazu werden Algorithmen entwickelt, welche die Stärken der modernen digitalen Bildverarbeitung, des maschinellen Lernens und der Mustererkennung vereinen; zusätzlich wird automatische Parameteroptimierung unter Berücksichtigung von User-Feedback integriert. Zielgruppe der Methoden sind ForscherInnen ohne Expertenwissen in der Informatik; daher wird besonderes Augenmerk auf ein anwenderfreundlichem Interface sowie eine entsprechende Web-Service-Lösung gelegt.

  • 05

    Med LED

    Development of an innovative LED panel enabling low level light therapy of skin specific for the phase of wound healing. 2013 – 2016

    Development of an innovative LED panel enabling low level light therapy of skin specific for the phase of wound healing.  2013 – 2016

  • 06

    Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant

    Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (IRG); 2007-2011

    Why do they die? Deciphering and quelling the lethal cues of immuno-inflammatory response in sepsis (Grant No: 203685).

     PI : Dr. Marcin F. Osuchowski (LBI Trauma, Austria)

    Sepsis continues to be a major life-threatening condition in acute-care patients accounting for thousands of deaths annually, despite rapid progress in health care over the past decades in developed countries. The proposed project addressed the mechanisms and prevention of early mortality (SIRS) in experimental sepsis and its design focused on effective implementation of the „from bench to bedside“ philosophy. The project consisted of three aims investigating acute immuno-inflammatory signalling triggered by a septic event.

    Overall, the data generated during the project has filled out a number of gaps in understanding in pathophysiological process that lead to death in polymicrobial acute sepsis syndromes, specifically regarding changes occurring in the central nervous system and systemic immuno-inflammatory responses. Additionally, our targeted pre-clinical data aid in design and creation of pointed weapons needed to improve survival of septic patients. Specifically, our findings reinforce the notion that new drugs against sepsis should be offered selectively to carefully pre-defined narrow cohorts of septic patients who have the best chance to benefit. Such tactics have another great advantage – it may spare life of septic subjects whose fragile immuno-inflammatory defence balance could be worsened by unnecessary treatments.

  • 07


    HIPPOCRATES – A Hybrid Approach and Cartilage Tissue Engineering using Natural Origin Scaffolds, Progenitor Cells and Growth Factors

    Coordinator: Rui L. Reis (University of Minho, Portugal)

    This Project involves 3 Universities from Germany, Porugal and North Ireland, Red Cross from Austria and 2 top European companies – Germany and Belgium. Started in January 2004.