A new way to stem cell therapy

From the idea to the cooperation of several hospitals in the Baltic Sea area, which built a database for stem cells.

Idea and problem

As is so often in life, asking the right questions is crucial. In a conversation between a manager at Stryker Trauma GmbH and a professor at the UKSH Clinic in Lübeck, Niels asked whether the jawbones could not be easily rebuilt with the help of stem cells. This would make the treatment of complicated fractures much easier.

This discussion aroused the interest of Professor Arndt-Peter Schulz, who then began to research.

He found out that bone healing with stem cells is possible but has only rarely been used because of the difficult access to material containing stem cells. This puzzled him because, as a surgeon, he discards bone marrow and pieces of bone that contain this valuable resource daily. What a waste!

Solution in a project collaboration of several partners

Professor Arndt-Peter Schulz looked for competent partners to find solutions on how the biomaterial could be collected, stored and made available for research. This is how the German-Danish cooperation project BONEBANK was born, paving the way for new stem cell therapies.

It was crucial to have competent partners who respected and trusted each other. The networking of medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals has brought the breakthrough here.

Results that stand out

In the project, the partners jointly developed a unique value chain in the German-Danish border region, from the innovative extraction of bone marrow stem cells to their storage in cross-border biobanks and exploitation by regional research institutions and companies. The project partners also developed a process for obtaining bone stem cells from routine operations. The prototype of a new extraction device was also developed and patented. There is now a process chain for transporting bone material from the operating theatre to the laboratory, where the stem cells are isolated. The cells removed are stored under different conditions, and their properties are assessed. A specially developed database software allows the data transfer of cell samples between the participating hospitals.

After the end of the project, a cross-border, legally compliant (Good Manufacturing Practice, abbreviated GMP) procedure is available to remove, store, use, and quality control the bone material. An interest group also represents the activities related to stem cells and bone healing.

This project was made possible by collaborating clinics and companies in the border area who contributed with their know-how.

Projekt Homepage: https://www.bonebank.eu/

There are many companies and institutes in the German-Danish border region that deal with stem cells, bone healing, and corresponding therapies. To facilitate networking of these regional competencies, Life Science Nord has developed an online search function. After registration, you get access at https://www.lsnxchange.de/
Contact person: Robert Wendlandt, UKSH