Developing a new solution to treat atherosclerosis

The “The Grail” project will develop a bioactive and bioresorbable scaffold able to locally regenerate the vessel after endovascular surgery – when the atheroma or accumulation in the obstructed arteries is removed – in patients with the disorder.

“The purpose of this in vivo deployable scaffold, which won’t require mechanical removal, is to offer an alternative treatment to mechanical re-channelling or bypassing of obstructed arteries,” explains Elisabeth Engel, senior researcher in IBEC’s Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies group, which will carry out the research. “Using a regenerative approach compatible with current minimally invasive surgical techniques, the scaffold will substitute the diseased and stiffened area of artery and be repopulated by resident and circulating cells.

“When it is absorbed harmlessly by the body once its task is completed, all that is left will be physiologically responsive, regenerated tissue.”

The project will take 60 months to complete and will also involve researchers at the universities of Liverpool (UK), Valladolid (ES) and Naples Federico II (IT), a clinical centre at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht (NL), and four industry partners from Italy, Spain and Switzerland.


This story was covered in Catalunya Vanguardista magazine on 1 March: