Lower back pain in the sights of €15 million research project

Galway Daily news NUIG chronic pain project shortlisted for €1 million prize

Researchers from Galway are taking part in a €15 million project targeting lower back pain.

CÚRAM Medical Devices Research Centre at NUIG is one of twenty partners in the five-year iPSpine project to fund new research into technology that can help with lower back pain.

Researchers from CÚRAM recently attended the launch of the project in in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The project is being coordinated by Professor Marianna Tryfonidou at Utrecht University.

iPSpine partners at the project launch in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Photo: NUI Galway

Chronic lower back pain is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide, affecting over 700 million people of all ages.

It’s been estimated that the economic burden from this amounts to €240 million each year in the EU alone.

iPSpine will develop a new therapy to combat this issue using advanced stem cells and smart biomaterials.

The treatment is going to be designed to be injected into the degenerated discs in the spine to help re-populate regions that have deteriorated, with the goal of returning spinal function.

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM and lead on one of the packages for iPSpine said that this project addresses a critical need.

“Partnering in this unique consortium provides CÚRAM the opportunity to see our therapeutic design contribution through to implementation stage.”

“This will enable an accelerated translation of our research to therapy and produce real solutions for those who urgently need it.”