Marine Origin Biopolymers as Innovative Building Blocks from the Sea for the Development of Bioresorbable Multilayered Membranes for Guided Bone Regeneration

Period: 03/04/2017 – 02/04/2020
Funding scheme: Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET (ERA-MBT)
Coordination: University of Aveiro


With the advances in marine biotechnology, also known as “blue biotechnology”, natural origin polymers from algae and arthropods can be obtained in large scale, and a great effort has been paid to find applications for such high-added value materials. In particular, these marine molecules, which could be used in the biomedical field, are currently being discarded as wastes. In BLUETEETH project, we intend to have a sustainable and economically viable exploitation of the natural resources of coastal regions by promoting the interaction between academy and industry. Periodontal disease is frequent in humans and constitutes, together with dental caries, the principal cause of tooth loss in adults. Currently, one of the available treatment strategies for periodontal disease comprises the use of non-resorbable or resorbable membranes as barrier membranes for guided tissue/bone regeneration (GTR/GBR). Such membranes will act as a physical barrier to protect the defect site and to prevent soft tissue to reach the injured area, as well as “guide” the bone regeneration process. Several synthetic and natural membranes are currently being used for GTR/GBR to improve periodontal regeneration but, so far, complete regeneration has not yet been reported. In this concern, BLUETEETH intends to create a pioneering and innovative biocompatible and bioresorbable free-standing (FS) multilayered membrane that would address the limitations of the current ones, in terms of regeneration potential, by promoting an effective GTR/GBR to treat periodontal disease. Such multilayered membrane will have a special design and composition, thus allowing the spatiotemporal control of several parameters, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, mechanical performance, bioactivity and bioadhesion. A multidisciplinary and highly skilled consortium will join efforts in an attempt to develop the entire pipeline, bridging the isolation of the marine raw materials up to the final device, with expected improved medical performance and technical characteristics suitable to accelerate market entry.