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Biopolymers for the Generation of 3D Tissue Engineering Scaffolds by Solution Mask Liquid Lithography

Project description

Towards bespoke tissue scaffolds

Much like construction scaffolds help in building an office building, tissue scaffolds help cells form functional tissues for treatment of disease or injury. Designed to encourage cell growth and tissue formation, tissue scaffolds are microscopic, often nanostructured, and must be biocompatible. With support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, BioSMaLL is integrating a novel 3D printing method called solution mask liquid lithography (SMaLL) with functional biopolymers and tissue engineering. SMaLL exploits photo-active molecules to control polymerisation and create novel 3D structures with chemically and mechanically distinct domains. The result will be improved tailor-made and bioinspired tissue implants for a variety of biomedical applications.


Three-dimensional (3D) printing in biomedical science has recently advanced the development of tailor-made implants. Designing structural and functional 3D constructs mimetic of both tissues and organs offers a genuine route to personalised implants, improving the patients' quality of life and reducing healthcare costs. While engineers have significantly progressed 3D printing methods, the barriers to progress include the limited variety of printable materials as well as the need for alternative low-cost printing technologies. BioSMaLL aims to address this through combining Solution Mask Liquid Lithography (SMaLL), a recent technology developed at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), with the expertise of the applicant and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in functional biopolymers and tissue engineering to develop bio-active scaffolds. The objectives of this global fellowship will be achieved by adaptation of BioSMaLL for newly designed biopolymers during the outgoing phase at UCSB . In a transfer of knowledge, BioSMaLL will then be established at RCSI and bespoke biocompatible scaffolds produced and validated during the incoming phase. The innovative approach will be facilitated by an interdisciplinary methodology at the interface of polymer chemistry, (bio)materials science, 3D printing and tissue engineering in two world-renowned groups. The career goal of the fellow to embark on a career in emerging biomedical technologies in a start-up company will be facilitated by a dedicated training programme across scientific methods as well as complementary training at UCSB and RCSI covering leadership, project management and commercialisation in addition to meetings with laboratory and management staff of the start-up company SurgaColl. The partners have a proven track record in training future leaders in materials science and healthcare aiming to make a difference and establish new technologies and innovative processes in Europe and beyond.



Net EU contribution
€ 257 561,28
St stephen's green 123
2 Dublin

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Ireland Northern and Western Border
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)