Cartilaginous tissue regeneration by non-viral gene therapy; taking the hurdles towards efficient delivery

EU H2020


Chronic low back pain due to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and osteoarthritis (OA) worldwide impact human health and well-being due to pain and impaired mobility. Non-viral gene therapy has great promise as safe and precision treatment to restore IVD and joint tissue health. "Carthago" will fulfil the promise of non-viral gene therapy in these diseases. We will do this through educating 15 young researchers in 10 different countries in physics, quality by design, nucleic acid chemistry, nanomedicine, cartilage and IVD biology, ethics, entrepreneurship, and academic transferable skills.



This multidisciplinary team will exploit the potential of gene therapy in IVD and joint disease by taking a multi-faceted approach towards the delivery and activity of oligonucleotides and encoding nucleic acids (NA). The role of the ARI team is to test the newly developed NA delivery systems in our cell and organ culture models using bioreactor systems for cartilage and IVD. Two PhD candidates (Early-Stage Researchers) are performing the in vitro / ex vivo studies, while being trained in interdisciplinary fields. 

  • Presentation

    Stoddart M. Reproducing kinematic load in vitro for chondrogenesis studies. 2022 TERMIS AP (oral)

  • Partner

    Creemers L (Prof), University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands

    Oommen V (Prof), University of Uppsala, Sweden

    Tomuta I (Prof), Medical and Pharmaceutical University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Howard K (Prof), Aarhus University, Denmark

    Nieminen H (Prof), Aalto University, Finland

    Pego A (Dr), INEB, Porto, Portugal

    Waligora M (Dr), University Krakow, Poland

    Chan A (Dr), Percuros BV, Leiden, Netherlands

    Cameron J (Dr), Albumedix, Nottingham, United Kingdom

    Engbersen J (Prof), 20Med Therapeutics BV, Hengelo, Netherlands

    Kralisch D (Dr), Jenacell, Jena, Germany