The Laboratory for Cell and Gene Therapy is located in Basel University Hospital and is affiliated to both the Department of Biomedicine of the University and the Department of Surgery of the Hospital. Work within the group pursues therapeutic angiogenesis, i.e. improving the blood supply of tissues by the generation of new vessels. In particular, research is focused on understanding the molecular regulation of blood vessel growth and the translation of this knowledge into rational therapeutic approaches to: 1) treat ischemic diseases (peripheral and cardiac) and 2) achieve rapid and efficient in vivo vascularization of clinical-size tissue engineered grafts. To this end, we developed a variety of platforms to study controlled levels and combinations of angiogenic growth factors, such as genetically modified progenitors (to provide both vascular growth and tissue regeneration, combining the approaches of cell and gene therapy), and state-of-the-art biomaterials for the fully tunable release of matrix-bound recombinant growth factors (bypassing the transfer of genetic material). Over the last decade we have developed a unique expertise bridging fundamental vascular biology and biomaterial-based approaches to control vascular growth for therapeutic purposes, requiring close integration between biological, clinical and biomaterial competences in multi-disciplinary approaches.
Main task in the project
UNIBAS/USB is the leader of Work Package 6 and will be responsible for designing and optimizing the vascularization strategies, as well as analysing the vascular aspects of all WPs. In particular:
- Determine the dose-dependent angiogenic effects of cmRNA delivery for both the angiogenic and the primarily neurogenic and osteogenic factors in vitro and in vivo in an ectopic model (WP5, WP6 and WP7)
- Analyze the angiogenic effects of combined cmRNA delivery in vivo in proof-of-concept preclinical trials in rat orthotopic models of bone segmental defects and osteoporosis (WP8).