Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, is providing EUR 6.9 million funding for the second phase of a project in which a person’s own cells may be used to produce spare parts to replace damaged and degenerated organs. The Human Spare Parts project brings together a unique interdisciplinary cooperation network consisting of the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology as the Finnish project implementers, and several national and international parties ranging from ICT companies to medical scientists.
According to Tekes, the project’s scope and form of cooperation are unparalleled in the world and the research will directly generate business opportunities for companies in a number of sectors. For example, in the future the results of the project may be used for repairing diseased or infected cartilage tissue (arthrosis and osteoporosis), generating new bone tissue in bone damage, and repairing nervous tissue in spinal cord injuries.
Cost-efficient spare parts
Immense amounts of money are spent around the world every year to treat joint, bone, and cartilage damage. Stem cell research is a rapidly advancing field of science, and there is an extensive market for tissue technology products. The aim of the project is to find better and more cost-efficient ways of producing human spare parts from the patient’s own tissues.
The solutions developed in the project will also support research on topics such as the adverse cardiac effects of medicines and the development of new ophthalmic drugs. Tekes has allocated a total of EUR 10 million for the project.