RESTORE’s networking prompted the birth of a new project recently funded by the European Commission. RESTORE partners INEB and UPO will collaborate in another H2020 project, entitled “From pathobioLogy to synoviA on chip: driving rheuMatoid arthritIs to the precisioN medicine GOal” (FLAMIN-GO). FLAMIN-GO aims to develop a customized joint-on-chip for the personalized treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients. FLAMIN-GO’s technological approach will be LEGO-like, with three “bricks” that will easily interlock with each other’s to build a complete joint-on-chip. Each “brick”, developed and validated independently, will correspond to one of three joint micro-tissues: synovial membrane, cartilage/bone, and vessels.
Briefly, each patient will provide its own tissues for the 3D bioprinting of its personal joint. The joint-on-chip will be assembled by three units: a synovial unit (which is the tissue primarily affected by the disease), an osteochondral unit (made of cartilage and bone that are the tissues in the joints that are irreversibly damaged, leading to joint deformity), and vessels (where nutrients, soluble mediators and the immune cells responsible for the damage, will circulate).
The assembled joint-on-chip can then be used to both investigate the molecular basis of each patient’s disease with omics’ techniques, and to identify the most effective drug for each patient, according to the principles of personalized medicine.
FLAMIN-GO is coordinated by UPO’s team and was recently financed by the European Commission with 6 million euros.