The B2B Consortium collects the excellence of several sectors, each one contributing to a specific component of the device. Only the synergy between all the parts gives life to the B2B device.
The realization of the breast cancer model from a patient-derived primary lesion is led by Nicola Aceto at the Cancer Metastasis lab of the University of Basel, winner of an ERC starting grant. The lab has worked for many years with breast cancer to dissect the metastatic process.
The group of Eric Farrell at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center is in charge to develop the ossicle model. His lab, the Bone Tissue Engineering Research lab, studies the bone tissue development and in B2B it will build a bone-model with multiple tissues, including the mineralised matrix and the bone marrow.
The vascular network is realized in collaboration by two groups: Dr. Andrea Banfi’s Cell and Gene Therapy lab at the Basel University Hospital that studies the formation and self-assembling growth of blood vessels and Lorenzo Moroni’s Complex Tissue Regeneration group at MERLN that develops biofabrication technologies. Together they will develop an innovative vascular system allowing the transition from the macro- to the micro-scale of blood vessel branching and that can be attached directly to the self-assembled capillaries grown by the tumour tissues.
Finally, the Engineering for Health and Wellbeing Group at the CNR-IEIIT, headed by Silvia Scaglione, is responsible for the integration of these components into the final device. Her group is in charge to design and develop the full B2B platform which should ensure the right connection between the parts developed by the other groups. The first platform should be ready by the end of the first year, but the design will be constantly improved based on the collected findings, together with the company REACT4LIFE which will promote European market acceptance.
Once the system is set up, high-resolution imaging by the company BIOEMTECH will complement the work by assessing the correct development of the microvascular network, monitoring the circulation of the cancer cells and evaluating the metastasis formation in the bone-like structure.
Other two SMEs are involved in supporting the project: CITC assesses the degree of maturity reached by the technology, while IN supports the projects management, communication, dissemination of B2B results.
All the partners have already started to work since the very beginning of the project (July 2018) and they will constantly exchange information throughout the entire project lifetime to ensure the perfect synergy in the final device.