Proje Geliştirme ve
Koordinasyon Birimi

2016-04-14 Ukraine: Development of Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Autologous Thymic Regeneration

Development of Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Autologous Thymic Regeneration

Description of the project offered: 
Partial or total thymectomy is a component of some surgical procedures. In our focus mainly newborn and children with congenital heart diseases whom the thymus was removed as a part of a standard surgical procedure. Lack of thymus presents a serious problem for these patients. However, autologous transplantation of thymic fragments as well as thymic epithelial stem cells (TESC) can lead to successful reconstitution of immune system functions as it was showed in animal models and in some clinical investigations. In the research that is planning, the main object of investigation is thymic stromal-epithelial cells (TSEC) that could have stem cell potential and keep it for a long time in culture in vitro. The cells could be differentiated into mature cells with functional active immunoregulatory properties, in particular, related to T-cell differentiation and autotolerization. These TSEC, as we expect, could be used for transplantation to thymectomized patients for supporting of the thymic grafts or regeneration of the thymic structure after heart surgery. The practical task of the research is to develop a technology platform for the generation, long-term culturing, cryopreservation and autologous transplantation of TSEC. The investigation may become a basis for the development of new approaches for compensation of thymic immunodeficiency related states and for improving postsurgical patients’ life quality. The project team will comprise of experts in stem cell biology, molecular biology, epigenetic, immunology and cardiovascular surgery. We are looking for potential partners in this project who have: 
1. Access to the thymus of patients aged from 0 to 3 years (removed in process of the cardiovascular surgery);
2. Facilities to save thymic samples in liquid nitrogen for long term;
3. Facilities for the preparation and cultivation of human thymic samples in vitro;
4. Medical assistance for autologous re-transplantation of thymic samples to the patients and screening facilities for controlling of thymi development in vivo;
5. The ability to assess the immune status of the patients in dynamics after re-transplantation of thymic samples. 
In addition, in this project we could plan the statistic evaluation of the life quality and survival rate after thymectomy in this group of patients comparing to older patients.
Project proposer:   Valentin Shichkin (Ukraine)
Partner role:  Project participant 
Partner organisation:  Education
Call for proposal title:  CALL: FET-Open – Novel ideas for radically new technologies 
Call for proposal identifier:  H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017

Description of the collaboration sought: 

Expertise sought: Business aspects, Scientific research, Coordination. Cooperation, Innovation. Technology transfer, Medical biotechnology, Biotechnology, Medicine. Health, Nanotechnology and Nanosciences, 
Roles sought: Project coordinator, Project participant, 
Organisation types sought: 
Countries sought: Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands