Learn about Biomaterials

NUI Galway’s CÚRAM Research Centre has created a 4-course series introducing the fundamental elements of biomaterials.

Biomaterials are an integral part of the iPSpine technology. The engineered cells need an environment that mimics the native healthy tissue in order to thrive. For this purpose, biomaterials that contain tissue-specific components, and as such can provide such an environment, are further developed in this WP. We use natural, semi-synthetic, and fully synthetic biomaterials that mimic the healthy disc environment. These biomaterials are being developed in such a way that they can provide an instructive micro-environment that stimulate iPSCs to differentiate into NLCs. Additionally, in the biomaterials, the cells can thrive while eliciting beneficial effects on the resident disc cells. Furthermore, these biomaterials act as a vehicle to deliver cells to the disc and simultaneously provide direct mechanical support immediately after application.