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ENable LIGHT- and synthetic biology-driven volumetric bioprinting of functional human tissues

Objective

With its ability to print living cells into shapes that resemble human organs, 3D bioprinting has risen exceptional hopes in the quest to produce lab-made human tissues for biomedical applications. However, today’s bioprinting has no means to actively steer cell behaviour and morphogenesis, leaving yet unfulfilled the potential to fully capture organ functions. Challenging this current perspective, ENLIGHT merges synthetic biology, 3D printing, and photonics to develop a radically new technological concept termed optogenetic volumetric bioprinting. This ultra-fast technique uses visible light tomography to sculpt cells and biomaterials into multi-material, high-resolution, centimetre-scale living tissues within less than a minute. Through synthetic biology-inspired strategies, stem cells gain the ability to sense and respond to light patterns provided by the printer and differentiate into selected cell types, essentially permitting for the first time to 3D print cell functions. ENLIGHT targets two breakthroughs: the development of a volumetric bioprinter capable of optogenetic stimulation to instruct cell fate, and its application to build physiological-scale tissues and organoids that replicate human organ-level functionality. As proof-of-concept ENLIGHT will print vascularized endocrine pancreas models that exhibit native-like function. ENLIGHT will introduce a technology for bioprinting a new generation of reliable user-customizable in vitro models to study human biology and pathology. This is urgently needed to advance drug discovery, personalized medicine and to aid the transition to animal-free biomedical research. These results and the actions of industrial, academic and social science consortium partners, will lay the foundation to build market opportunities, leading research and innovation capacity across Europe. On the longer term, ENLIGHT envisions to offer new tools to solve donor organ shortage for transplantation and regenerative medicine.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
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Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 100
3584 CX Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 012 410

Participants (7)

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 700 000
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ASTRAZENECA AB
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 278 000
Address
Vastra Maelarhamnen
151 85 Sodertaelje
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 250 000
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ROUSSELOT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 257 015
Address
Meulestedekaai 81
9000 Gent
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II
Italy
EU contribution
€ 570 000
Address
Corso Umberto I, 40
80138 Napoli
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
READILY3D SA
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 487 500
Address
Batiment Epfl Innovation Park A
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
FONDAZIONE GIANNINO BASSETTI
Italy
EU contribution
€ 40 000
Address
Via Michele Barozzi 4
20122 Milano
Activity type
Research Organisations