Significant EU funding for joint diseases research

Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Fellow Gabriela Lorite and Associate Professor, Academy Research Fellow Simo Saarakkala from the University of Oulu have received 1.1 million euros from EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 for joint diseases research project MIRACLE.

MIRACLE (Mid-infrared arthroscopy innovative imaging system for real-time clinical in depth examination and diagnosis of degenerative joint diseases) is a joint project between Microelectronics Research Unit (MIC) and Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology (MIPT) at the University of Oulu with12 European partners.

The MIRACLE project will implement and demonstrate an innovative MIR imaging-probe to be used during minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery enabling the in-depth diagnosis of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

“According to the orthopaedic surgeons’ current practice, the decision-making during arthroscopic surgery is based on visual inspection and manual probing of the cartilage tissue which is highly subjective and of poor repeatability,” says Saarakkala.

MIRACLE’s consortium expects to impact on the intra-operative decision making promoting patients’ well-being.

“In addition to reinforce the collaboration between the MIC and MIPT, the funding will enable the utilisation of research towards clinical use,” Lorite summarizes.

Osteoarthritis constitutes a major challenge for the health care systems, affecting 242 million people globally. In Europe, 20-40 % of the older adults suffer from the disease.

The MIRACLE project joins 13 European partners from 6 countries. The funding period for the project starts at the beginning of 2018. The total funding for the 3.5-year project is worth 6.2 million euros. Dr. Lorite from MIC will be coordinating the project.

Last updated: 31.8.2017