Next week IBEC will launch Faster Future, a new crowdfunding initiative that aims to help accelerate research projects that are close to tackling major challenges in health.
This year, Faster Future will be raising money for a new solution for muscular dystrophy being developed in Javier Ramon’s Biosensors for Bioengineering group. Their ‘muscle-on-a-chip’ will use a patient’s own cells to study myotonic dystrophy type 1, a progressive disability that begins in adulthood and affects 50,000 people in Spain alone.
As well as modelling the patient’s disease in a personalized way, the platform will also allow the study of different drugs or treatments in conditions that mimic the body as closely as possible, as well as offering a more reliable alternative to animal models.
The campaign, which will open on Giving Tuesday, will aim to raise the 25,000€ needed to carry out the last phases of the project: equipping the chip’s muscle tissue with biosensors, validating the platform and drug testing. If at least 18,000€ is collected, these final phases could begin in January 2018, and a prototype of a muscular tissue platform on-a-chip could be available by the end of 2019.
** Update: The Faster Future website is now open for donations! **