Intra-CREATE Engineering and Health – Selected Project : ScaNCells

CNRS@CREATE is pleased to announce, as host institution, the selection of the project ScaNCellS “Engineering Scaffold-Mediated Neural Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury Treatment “as part of the INTRA-CREATE call for projects on “INTERSECTION OF ENGINEERING AND HEALTH”.

PIs and partners

The lead PIs is Assoc. Prof. Sing Yian CHEW (Nanyang Technological University) and the second lead PIs is Pr Laurent DAVID (CNRS).

The partners are NTU, CNRS, NUS, MIT, University of Cambridge through A*Star and SMART CAMP.

The duration of the project is 3 years, and it should start during the last trimester 2020.


Spinal cord injuries (SCI) carry significant costs to the society and has a major impact on the quality of life of patients. According to the WHO, SCI is estimated to cost more than dementia, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment that regenerates spinal cord tissue with functional recovery.

Our program gathers a unique team of engineers, cell biologists and clinician scientists with the aim to design a neural cell implantation therapy for SCI treatment that is safe, efficacious and reproducible. We will achieve this goal through enhanced biological understanding of the regeneration process of nerve tissue together with optimized engineering methods to prepare cells and biomaterials for robust cell manufacturing and successful transplantation into the body. We envision that through this proof-of-principle work in the context of SCI, we may further translate our scientific and engineering capabilities in neural cell therapies and biomaterial design to treat other neurological disorders.

*Team members from CNRS: Laurent DAVID (Co-PI, IMP Lyon); Gilles SUBRA (IBMM Montpellier)