Medical devices (MDs) have an irreplaceable role in modern healthcare. The term ‘medical device’ covers a broad spectrum of products that are crucial in diagnosis and treatment, disease prevention and improving the quality of life of people suffering from disabilities or injuries. MDs used in the oral cavity are usually those helping in the treatment of aphthae or canker sores irritations and lesions of the oral mucosa by forming a barrier that adheres to the oral mucosa and promotes healing. Dental materials and dental prosthetic devices are also an important group of MDs with apparent contact with oral mucosa.
Most of the MDs bio-compatibility assessments is still conducted in animals. However, thanks to the advances in cell and 3D tissue engineering and due to the accelerated progress of validation of alternative methods, the MD regulations are also in vitro tests, as demonstrated recently by the adoption of the in vitro reconstructed epidermis test for intra-cutaneous testing into the ISO standard 10993-23. Biocompatibility testing of MDs is based on the toxicity assessment of extracts from MDs, that are in fact highly diluted solutions of potential irritants. Therefore any already validated in vitro tests and prediction models must be fine-tuned to achieve different levels of sensitivity for this specific type of materials.
The proposed project builds on the practical experiences gained in the validation study for intra-cutaneous testing of MDs in which the research teams from Slovakia and Czech republic participated between 2012-2018. The current project will use 3D reconstructed tissues of oral/buccal epithelia and cell cultures with the origin in the oral cavity with the aim to develop a highly sensitive testing strategy for local tolerance testing in vitro. The project also aims into the training of PhD students and early career scientist in the use of in vitro methods for the safety assessment of MDs.
The TraiN-SafeMD project has 5 tasks and is divided into 7 stages over 48 months.
Task 1 - will focus on the identification and training in the most promising methods and biological models of the oral and gingival epithelia eligible for in vitro studies of irritation and inflammation events in the oral cavity.
Task 2 - Reference materials selection - a selection of well standardised and characterised reference materials is a key task for the development of any new methodology.
Task 3 - Initial Training and method development, initial data and SOPs generation
Task 4 - Proficiency training and methods pre-validation
Task 5 - Dissemination
Goals of the TraiN-SafeMD project
to establish international collaboration focused on safety testing of medical devices (MD)
to develop a training network for PhDs and young scientists engaged in methods in vitro for the safety assessment of medical devices
to identify the most promising in vitro methods and strategies for in vitro safety assessment of MDs used in the oral cavity
to standardize the selected in vitro methods and generate first data for selected MD materials as a part of the preparation for a larger international collaborative project