"Bioprinting is a young, promising but undeveloped area in tissue engineering. It refers to the automated fabrication of tissue engineering constructs with incorporated living cells. The particular advantages as compared to the manual cell seeding of prefabricated scaffolds are the abilities to mimic the cellular organisation of native tissues, and to upscale to (economically feasible) clinical application.
The lack of suitable hydrogels is a major factor holding back the development of bioprinting. Our project aims to solve this problem by translating principles from other application fields to bioprinting technology, in order to develop new printable hydrogel formulations to advance this new field in tissue engineering. Our research objectives are (1) to advance bioprinting science and technology by applying, modifying and developing new hydrogel formulations to be used with a bioprinter, and (2) to use bioprinting to prepare cell-laden hydrogel constructs for articular cartilage tissue engineering, following a zonal approach.
The outgoing phase will be performed at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Having a background in polymer chemistry and biomaterials, I will diversify my research by being trained in cell biology. The reintegration phase will take place at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, where I will be working in a clinical environment. In Australia, I will be learn from Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher, a world leading expert in solid freeform fabrication in tissue engineering. This knowledge I will take back to the Netherlerlands to be adsorbed by the Orthopaedics group of Professor Wouter Dhert and Dr. Jos Malda."
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