The world is still in the hand of the corona virus and we are all struggling to keep ourselves and the persons next to us surviving this crisis. Even our health systems and the economies down to basis of our society are enormously challenged. However, we also have to look into the future and strongly move forward in the world of medical research and experimental science in cartilage repair and joint preservation. ICRS mission to promote science and education in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is a sustainable goal and will be there after – hopefully – we have mastered this virus disaster. The pandemic of musculoskeletal diseases – like osteoarthritis – and the burden of pain and immobility will still challenge our daily work in research and clinics. We look forward to welcoming all of you healthy and strong in Berlin for the 16th ICRS World Congress from August 23-26, 2021. We – Magali Cucchiarini and Stefan Nehrer – are the Co-chairs of the Scientific Programme Committee and together with our committee members, we are now planning the scientific programme with the goal to focus on current developments in our field and report, discuss, and analyse those among scientists and clinical researches as well as orthopaedic surgeons, healthcare providers and – last but not least – industry, providing the economic background of all our efforts.
We propose the “R” within the ICRS as our main topics: Repair, Regenerate, Restore, Replace, Rehabilitate, Research, Review, Redefine, Rethink will be the bullet points of our meeting.
After many years of increasing our knowledge and insights into cartilage repair and joint preservation, we have to go back on one hand to critically analyse and learn from our successes and failures in regeneration and repair and to rethink what happened. On the other hand, we have to rethink our impact on the health system in light of digitalization, transdisciplinary approaches, and globalization. The goal is to redefine our processes and technology in the context of a more complex translational approach and unite our efforts in research and clinic to really move forward. But also, side-effects of those trends connected to Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, as well as fake news and social media, and new regulations like the medical device regulations are challenges to be addressed.
Register data and long term outcomes can set the stage for the evaluation of existing technologies. Obstacles for clinical use of those successful technologies have to be discussed among clinical researchers, scientists, and industry to develop strategic measurements for the implementation of these treatments for the best of our patients. Reviews on the results of clinical research and experimental science have to be discussed to translate this knowledge into an assessment of new, upcoming technologies. Artificial intelligence can help to get more insights into big data or digital imaging analysis. Omics, epigenetics as well as cell signalling, extracellular vesicles are hot topics which play an important role to understand healing and regenerative mechanisms. Research of joint omeostasis and ageing will bring new aspects of treatment modalities in degenerative joint diseases. New surgical techniques in various joints are technically demanding and need advice and training of how and when to use it. Standardized protocols in rehabilitation are the key for patient-related outcomes and have to be updated, especially with respect to back to sports and applied biomechanics.
A lot of information through our keynote speakers and distinguished faculty will be provided and interaction of all participants and industry is necessary to reach the goal of the meeting. Plenary sessions and abstract presentations with the highlighted topics, morning workshops on basic and advanced skills in clinic and research, poster sessions and industry exhibition, and lunch workshops will be the backbone of the meeting. The Opening Ceremony hosted by the ICRS Board, the ICRS awards ceremony and the ICRS Welcome cocktail will offer the best opportunities to meet with peers of the ICRS family and to join our efforts to have an outstanding meeting. The ICRS Farewell Night will give you a flavour of Berlin, a vibrant city with many opportunities, just check it out!
ICRS is awaiting you next year in Berlin – be there with us!
Christoph Erggelet, Congress Chair
Magali Cucchiarini & Stefan Nehrer, Scientifc Programme Chairs