The purpose of translational research is to foster and facilitate technology advancements from the basic sciences to the clinical in vivo realm for the advancement of patient care. The Pre-Clinical Assessment Core (PAC) will serve as a platform to facilitate the transfer of in vitro advances into clinical practice by providing the facilities and expertise to actuate potential technologies into pre-clinical modeling. PAC is founded on Clemson University's long history of musculoskeletal innovation research using animal models and the recently built Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC). PAC will consolidate these existing research resources and expertise for the translation of innovations at Clemson University and Greenville Health System into a comprehensive network of experts and services to be organized into two complementary thrusts: Animal Modeling and Post-Mortem Assessment (AM-PMA) and Human Cadaveric Modeling (HCM). The AM- PMA thrust builds on established, AAALAC-accredited, research facilities on the Clemson University main campus that provide state-of-the-art support for animal procurement, management and experimental studies. These include the Godley-Snell Research Center and the Clemson University Farms. Additionally, it includes the Clemson University histotechnological facilities including state-of-the-art processing equipment for both routine histology and hard tissue/metal processing including immunohistochemistry and imaging. The HCM thrust builds on the established Bioskills Surgical Training and Innovation Center and other resources at CUBEInC. The PAC leadership team will consist of the thrusts co-directors, both renowned clinicians and scientists, as well as a support group of technical experts and scientists. The overall mission of PAC is to provide mentoring and strategic planning to all SC-TRIMH investigators for the use of live animal models and/or human cadaver models in their research programs to enhance their research, innovation and competitiveness in the field of musculoskeletal health. Through PAC, SC-TRIMH investigators will learn how to develop and implement pre-clinical studies pertinent to musculoskeletal applications and assess the outcomes of their studies. Additionally, PAC will provide translational expertise, support and training for SC- TRIMH investigators, as well as other PIs at Clemson University, in South Carolina, and the IDeA network.
The specific aims of the Pre-Clinical Assessment Core, a critical resource for musculoskeletal researchers, are to 1) provide expertise and support for pre-clinical modeling with a ?turnkey? approach, 2) support junior investigator for the development of new models of pre-clinical assessment and 3) enhance the in vivo and ex vivo pre-clinical research capability to foster an increase in awareness of the facilities, increase users focused on musculoskeletal and support the coalescing of SC-TRIMH center. COBRE funds will support highly trained technical personnel and resource mentors to assure the operation and maintenance of core facilities as well as the training and mentoring of SC-TRIMH researchers for innovation and its translation.
This scientific core, called Pre-Clinical Assessment, provides expertise and skills for researchers to assure that the best approach is used to advance their research. PAC will use animals and donated human tissue to test orthopaedic devices or new treatments for bone and joints. This will help speed up the process of discovering something new in the lab and actually helping someone with bone or joint problems in the clinics. This core will test in animals and donated human tissue the new devices/sensors that were designed using the Multi-scale Computational Modeling Core and then generated using the Advanced Fabrication and Testing Core.