Research programs

AO Spine 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, AO Spine Research Commission

The AO Spine Knowledge Forums (KFs) are the engines of AO Spine clinical research. They perform evidence-based research and develop AO Spine 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 preclinical R&D within trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and translation of this knowledge to achieve more effective patient care worldwide.”

Mauro Alini, AO Research Institute Davos Program Head, Research Commission member

AO Spine performs preclinical research in collaboration with the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI). The pre-clinical outcomes are brought to the AO Spine Knowledge Forums for clinical evaluation.

AO Spine’s preclinical research focus is on musculoskeletal regeneration and postoperative spinal infection.

  • Musculosceletal Regeneration

    Currently, AO Spine sponsors three projects with the AO Research Institute Davos 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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