Project Objectives

The main objective of VIVOIMAG is to develop bone implants including a new contrast agent sensitive to enzymatic activity of metaloproteases, which will permit for the first time to follow the integration and cell differentiation activity in bone tissue bioreactors in vitro and in grafts in vivo using existing non invasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques.

Complementary expertise of the partners will permit:

  • Development of new magnetically labelled contrast agents capable of detecting metaloproteases enzymatic activity. Upon enzymatic degradation, the contrast agent will give different signal detectable with magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Incorporation of these new materials within scaffolds used for bone regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can self-replicate and differentiate into osteaoblasts will be integrated within custom-shaped porous scaffolds for de novo bone formation.
  • Development of bone tissue bioreactors and implantation of regenerated tissue into animal models. Growth of 3D high-density bone graft based on multi-cells cultures.
  • Exploitation of state of the art MRI and nuclear medicine imaging to evaluate and optimize the capacity of the contrast agent within the implants for detecting in vitro and in vivo enzymatic activity of metaloproteases.
  • Local detection of metaloprotease activity in real time to follow cell differentiation in the bone engineered bioreactor in vitro and to follow inflammation, differentiation and integration of the implanted material in the animal models.