Dental News

15. July 2019

Expertise of Geistlich Pharma sought for EU MEFISTO project

Imagine if osteoarthritis of the knee, which so many people suffer from following partial meniscal resection, could be successfully combated? Geistlich Pharma is taking on the challenge of finding innovative ways to do this in cooperation with eleven other partners.

The ultimate aim is to preserve the healthy part of the meniscus and to replace damaged tissue by a meniscal implant. The researchers are hoping to use biologically active, functionalized biomaterials to replace the conventional treatment method. This is happening at a time of increased understanding of the biomechanical function of the meniscus. Geistlich’s core expertise lies in biomaterials and the company is therefore contributing its long-standing experience to the European “Horizon 2020” project MEFISTO.

The magic of active, functionalized biomaterials

Osteoarthritis following partial arthroscopic removal of the knee meniscus (meniscectomy) is a common, serious problem. As the project commences, two possible solutions have been devised as a potential remedy. Firstly, a resorbable implant scaffold that can be colonized by the body’s own cells. Or, secondly, the desired effect could be achieved through a non-resorbable functionalized meniscus implant.     

Cost savings for national healthcare systems

In all probability, osteoarthritis following a meniscectomy will continue to be a common occurrence. When younger to middle-aged patients are being treated, this often means loss of the knee joint or a metal resurfacing (knee prosthesis). The social and economic costs of this are high. The solutions being pursued would take some of the strain off national healthcare systems. The project itself is being rounded off with a socio-economic analysis of the efficiency of existing meniscal replacement procedures.

EU research program “Horizon 2020”

The project in which Geistlich is involved has received funding under grant agreement no. 814444 (MEFISTO) as part of the EU research and innovation program “Horizon 2020”. Further information on the project can be found at: www.mefisto-project.eu. In addition to Geistlich, the other project partners include various universities, research institutions and private business partners from a total of eight European countries. 

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