Research programs

AOSpine sponsors innovative preclinical and clinical studies adhering to the highest standards. We generate knowledge that matters to our members and to our patients.

Clinical research

“AOSpine is the only truly global spine community. We endeavor to unite regions all over the world and motivate universal research participation.”

Dino Samartzis, Chairperson, AOSpine Research Commission

The AOSpine Knowledge Forums (KFs) are the engines of AOSpine clinical research. They perform evidence-based research and develop AOSpine classifications, staging of the disease, treatment guidelines, and outcome measures. 

The KFs meet regularly to discuss research, assess the best evidence for current practices, and formulate clinical studies to advance their field of spine expertise.

Preclinical research

“Our mission is excellence in applied pre-clinical R&D within trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and translation of this knowledge to achieve more effective patient care worldwide.”

Mauro Alini, ARI Program Head, Research Commission member

AOSpine performs preclinical research in collaboration with the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI), which are brought to the Knowledge Forums for clinical evaluation. 

AOSpine’s preclinical research focus is on musculoskeletal regeneration and postoperative spinal infection


AOSpine’s preclinical research focus is on: Musculosceletal Regeneration and Postoperative Spinal Infection. Read more below.

  • Musculosceletal Regeneration

    Currently, AOSpine sponsors three projects with the ARI Musculoskeletal Regeneration Program focused on spine: 

    • Functional therapy for annulus fibrosus (AF) repair to reduce the disc re-herniation risk;
    • Evaluation of hyaluronan-based hydrogels for nucleus pulposus (NP) repair; and
    • Impact of the immune status on the susceptibility to postoperative spine infection.
  • Postoperative Spinal Infection

    Postoperative surgical site infection is one of the most frequent and serious complications after spine surgery. Biomarkers that describe the patient’s immune status would be instrumental to evaluate the personal risk of each patient and take appropriate preventative measures. 

    AOSpine aims to identify parameters with significant variations between patients with postsurgical infection and patients with no complications. These parameters can be analyzed at a global scale to evaluate the individual patient’s infection risk, for precision medical care.

AO research institutes

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