Designing biomaterials for tissue regeneration – Presented by Sandra Camarero-Espinosa, MERLN

Designing biomaterials for tissue regeneration – Presented by Sandra Camarero-Espinosa, MERLN Institute for Technology Inspired Regenerative Medicine, at the 3D Medical Conference, on January 30-31, 2019, MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands

On the past decades materials sciences have experienced a boom with increasing knowledge being generated on nanotechnology and on the control and design of materials properties. Despite the great advances in the field and the exploitation of this knowledge in applications such as electronics, optics, photonics and drug delivery systems, little has been translated into tissue engineering (TE) applications.

TE is an emergent field that requires the use of designer biomaterial scaffolds to guide cell attachment, distribution, differentiation and the deposition of an extra cellular matrix (ECM) characteristic of the targeted tissue. Cells are capable of sensing patterned (bio)chemical, topographical and mechanical cues that span from the nano to the micrometric scale over their microenvironment. It is therefore of great importance the development of polymeric bio(nano)materials whose physicochemical properties can be tuned mimicking the cell microenvironment and the overall macroscopic properties of the native tissue. Particularly, the spatial control of chemical and structural/topographical features at the nano- and micro- scale, which affect the overall functions of the macroscopic material.

We have reviewed a series of scaffold fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and combined them with self-assembling processes that lead to the fabrication of genuinely hierarchical scaffold materials with spatially controlled chemistries and structures (e.g., microporous systems, janus and gyrod, structures). These, can be further functionalized introducing biochemical cues and tuning the specific cell-biomaterial interactions that direct the spatial cell organization. The high versatility of these techniques offer the possibility to control spatially the presentation of features at the nano and micron scale and the fabrication of isotropic and anisotropic structures and their assembly into multi-layer systems that mimic the complex structural and mechanical properties of native tissues. The use of these materials in biology proved successful in terms of tissue regeneration and also as platforms to unravel complex cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions.

What drives you?
The curiosity and the will to know

What are the three things you would take with you on a deserted island?
A knife, a lighter and my partner (not necessarily on that order)

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Additive manufacturing

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Will impact all aspects of our life

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
We need materials whose properties can be designed and control at the nanoscale

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
To get to know the latest advances on biomaterials for scaffold fabrication and the different ways we have to control their properties at different length scale.

About Sandra Camarero-Espinosa
Sandra Camarero-Espinosa developed her doctoral studies in Polymer Chemistry and Bioengineering at the Adolphe Merkle Institute (Fribourg, Switzerland) and her work was recognized with an award to an outstanding PhD thesis (Swiss Chemical Society). After gaining a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, she moved to Brisbane (Australia) to work at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. Here, she continued her research on instructive biomaterials scaffolds and their interaction with stem cells. Sandra is now a post-doctoral researcher at the MERLN institute where she works on the development of instructive hierarchical biomaterial scaffolds for the regeneration of complex tissues.

The Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN) strives to maintain a leading position in the field of biomedical engineering by combining creative research with training an interdisciplinary generation of scientists. MERLN’s activities operate at the interface of biology and engineering and aim to maximise outreach at the level of public involvement, development, and the commercialisation of research. MERLN’s vision is based on sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and ambition.

About 3D Medical Conference
On January 30-31, 2019, MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands, will host a two-day event focused on 3D Medical Printing.

Focus topics:

  • Medical applications with Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
  • 3D Bio Printing
  • 3D Dental Printing
  • 3D Medtech Printing
  • 3D Medicine & Pharmaceutics Printing
  • 3D Medical & Dental Scanning
  • 3D Medical & Dental Software
  • 3D Medical (Bio)Materials
  • 3D Medical Workflow & Planning Tools
  • Legal and Regulatory issues regarding 3D Medical printing applications

The audience, a mix of academics, medical professionals, business, technology, regulation and creatives, will get an excellent overview and insight in the medical tech developments from different perspectives.

Combination tickets are available and can be purchased on the conference website.

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