In June IMPRESS organised the Regenerative Medicine for Incontinence symposium held at TERMIS-EU 2017 (the European Chapter Meeting of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society) in Davos, Switzerland. Our aim was to highlight to this audience the relevance and importance of regenerative medicine to incontinence and the many opportunities that exist for future research. Dr Richard Day, our IMPRESS Co-investigator and Reader in Regenerative Medicine at University College London, and Dr Elena Mancuso , our IMPRESS Research Fellow led the session which consisted of prestigious talks from leading researchers actively involved in the incontinence research field.
Keynote speaker, Prof. Andrea Frudinger from the Medical University of Graz opened the symposium with a talk entitled Autologous Skeletal Muscle Cell Therapy for Anal Incontinence, during which she focused on the use of regenerative medicine research that has investigated the feasibility and efficacy of delivering autologous myoblasts to treat anal incontinence caused by obstetric external anal sphincter disruption. She went on to discuss the challenges that have been identified along the pathway for clinical translation, including new high-impact opportunities for the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research communities.
The session continued with a presentation from Dr Richard Day speaking about the Use of Specific Formulations of TIPS Microcarriers to deliver human myoblasts for functional rescue in a SCID murine model of volumetric skeletal muscle loss, and a talk from Dr Elif Vardar from EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) whose presentation focused on the Development of Smart Injectable Bulking Agent Formulations for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence. Finally, Prof. Daniel Eberli of the University of Zürich closed the session with a discussion on the use of novel stem-cell-based multisystem as an exciting potential therapy for voiding dysfunction.
Growing Interest in Incontinence Related Research
The oral presentations were also accompanied by a poster presentation program, in which posters by young investigators and students working in the field of regenerative medicine for incontinence were presented. This was complemented by posters across the main TERMIS-EU onference which featured work related or highly relevant to incontinence research.
TERMIS-EU was also the perfect platform to launch our IMPRESSplus 2017 Funding Call. We hope the call will attract interest from the regenerative medicine community and will help to develop this strand of research for incontinence going into the future.
This symposium represents the first time that at a society currently researching new technologies for incontinence and incontinence-related problems has participated at a TERMIS-EU annual meeting. It was well attended and showcased the contribution of high level researchers in the incontinence field, helping to encourage the audience to explore new opportunities in a crucial research area where there is huge potential for further research to deliver improved scientific understanding and long-term clinical benefit.