Pleuraplug was engaged in the development of composite microgel-based patches for the treatment of traumatic pleural injuries. Traumatic pleural injuries are pathological connections between the lungs and the pleura, which can result from tumors, trauma, microbial infections or postoperatively (e.g. after tumor resections). The existing therapies does not always lead to satisfactory results. In order to be able to close this connection sustainably and resiliently and to be able to restore the lung functionality, composite microgels consisting of the biological building blocks pectin and silk protein are to be injected at the site and cross-linked on site. The microgels are additionally loaded with growth factors and decorated with affibodies specific for cell surface receptors. Thus, fibroblasts are actively recruited and migrate into the microgel network. After cell immobilization and stimulation of the proliferation of the body's own cells within the microgel network, they form the final and airtight seal of the pleural injury. This project is part of the Bio4MatPro-“Competence Centre for Biological Transformation of Material Science and Production Engineering”, and is one of two flagship projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF as part of the Bio-economy Model Region Initiative in the Rhenish district. In the PleuraPlug project, scientist from DWI (RG Schwaneberg & RG Pich) and RWTH (RG Jockenhövel) are working along with an industrial partner on the development of scaffolding material for treating pleural fistulas.
Project Management: (BMBF) Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Funding reference number: Bio4MatPro BL4 – 1