Crowd funding for research in the field of experimental regenerative medicine "Spider silk for healing bone and cartilage" What is the project about? Tissue losses of any kind (e.g. after trauma, surgery, tumor, etc.) pose a great challenge in surgery, as natural healing of larger bone defects is only possible slowly or to a limited extent and newly formed tissue does not functionally meet the requirements of the original bone tissue or presents with significantly reduced quality (cf. http://www.ortho-unfall-bonn.de ). The research goal of the project is to develop an optimal matrix for the cell structure for tissue reconstruction of cartilage/bones (tissue engineering) using different biomaterials such as spider silk. Based on the research results, the obtained cartilage/bone replacement material will be subsequently tested in the clinical environment. Spider silk has special qualities that make it very interesting for biomedical applications. It is chemically extremely stable, elastic and very robust, ultra light and yet more tensile than steel. At the same time, it is well tolerated and is therefore not rejected by the organism. We want to use these qualities for the production of a matrix, which allows the culture of cartilage and bone substitute material. As cartilage is not supplied with blood due to a lack of vessels, it is not able to regenerate itself. An adequate replacement corresponding to the hyaline cartilage is not yet available. Conventional therapy procedures for degenerative joint diseases (arthrosis) such as cartilage smoothing or drilling can only achieve a fibrous cartilaginous replacement tissue. An alternative in this case could be tissue engineering. This opens up new possibilities for patients: • who have suffered major bone fractures, e.g. after accidents • with no fracture healing (pseudo arthrosis) • in the field of orthopedic oncology (bone tumors, bone forming tumors) • with osteoporosis • with joint damage e.g. due to competitive sport activities Why should anyone support this project? This is a new, innovative research project that is of major interest because the combination of different spider silks in the field of cartilage/bone tissue engineering has not yet been explored and the cultivation of cartilage replacement material using conventional tissue engineering methods does not yet match the quality of hyaline cartilage. This is an experimental research project, the results are still open. Who is behind the project? The project is being carried out at the Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at the University Hospital of Bonn by Anna Bartz under the supervision of Dr. Frank Schildberg, Research Director of the Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery. Cooperation partners are the Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum in Düsseldorf and the Koenig Research Museum in Bonn. What happens to the money if the financing is successful? The money is to be used to cover the necessary material and laboratory costs. The total costs of the three-year research project are estimated at 22,000 €. Funding Goal 1 is based on the costs of the first two years.