University Maastricht (UMA) was founded in 1976 and, as such, is one of the youngest universities of The Netherlands. UMA is considered to be one of the best young universities in the world (THE, QS) and the most international university of The Netherlands, and is, with 16,300 students and 4,300 employees, still growing. Within its Strategic Program ‘Community at the Core 2017-2021’, Maastricht University considers four core values, namely 1) to be an Innovator; 2) to adopt an Inclusive approach; 3) to take social Responsibility, and 4) to be a Sustainable institution in the broadest sense. Moreover, UMA aims to provide an open research environment and to deploy highlevel research and innovation to resolve societal challenges, next to her high ambitions in maintaining her exemplary academic community and in providing a stimulating, Problem-Based Learning (PBL)-based educational environment. With respect to high resolution imaging Maastricht University is prime member of the Maastricht Imaging Valley and part of the Euro-BioImaging node “Excellence in Imaging” with state-of-the art infrastructure and expertise. All these aspects fit completely with the aims and ambitions of EVPRO. UMA currently houses 6 faculties, of which the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) is the oldest one, founded together with the UM in 1976. FHML is involved in the Maastricht University Medical Center, emphasizing the close, intense and fruitful collaboration with the academic hospital of Maastricht. The research of FHML is clustered in research institutes, of which the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) will participate in EVPRO. CARIM consists of eight clinical and five basic research departments, of which the Department of Physiology (taking part in EVPRO) belongs to the latter one. Together, these departments aim at unraveling the mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases. The Department of Physiology, and more specifically the subgroup ‘Vascular Physiology (Prof. Dr. Mark Post)’, has a track record in Tissue Engineering and EV-related research. In this context, UMA and more specifically the ‘Vascular Physiology’-group has outstanding in-house expertise and infrastructure on biomedical and applied biomaterial R&D and has a extensive experience in high resolution imaging, bio(functional) in vitro assays to test composition, biodegradation and biocompatibility of the biomaterials on physiological, cell biological and tissue formation level. Moreover, the ‘Vascular Physiology’-group has close and long-lasting collaborations with research groups dedicated to high resolution imaging, both within UM (Prof. Dr. Marc van Zandvoort, Professor Advanced Optical Microscopy, Dept. of Molecular Cell Biology) and within University of Hasselt, Belgium (Prof. Dr. Marcel Ameloot, BIOMED, Dept. of Biophysics). As such, UMA will evaluate biofunctional and biomechanical properties of the MSC-EVs loaded hydrogel within EVPRO. The high potential R&D of EVPRO will generate new insights in the regenerative capacities of MSC derived EVs, from the level of their isolation up to the development of high-tech EV-hydrogel-Ti2O based bioactive materials that will be evaluated at pre-clinical level. With EVPRO, Maastricht University will collaborate within a multidisciplinary network with state-of-the art (and beyond) expertise to drive highly innovative R&D and to secure the essential next steps in the translation of bioactive materials to clinical practice. In bringing together the different public-private partners of EVPRO, true synergy is created.
In summary, EVPRO provides us, next to concrete collaboration on innovative R&D of new therapeutic biomaterials for clinical bone prostheses within a strong and highly complementary public-private network, excellent options to create new biomedical and technological opportunities, assay and enables us to jointly establish pragmatic solutions with high market potential for emerging novel EV-biomaterial technologies that instruct and control tissue (re)generation.
Dr. Nynke van den Akker
Phone +31 43 3881200
Dr. Daniel Molin
Phone +31 43 3881200