Towards 4D printed scaffolds for regenerative medicine – Presented by Lorenzo Moroni, Maastricht University

Towards 4D printed scaffolds for regenerative medicine – Presented by Lorenzo Moroni, Maastricht University at the 2nd edition 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference, which takes place on 1 February 2017 at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands.

A key factor in scaffold-based tissue and organ regeneration relies on enhancing (stem) cell-material interactions to obtain the same original functionality. A possible way to build in functionality at the interface between materials and cells can be offered by 4D (bio)printing. Whether we are really witnessing 4D printing, a process which should be defined when the programmed temporal shape change happens during the 3D manufacturing itself, or not is still to be clarified in the field. We advocate for cautious use of the term 4D printing, as all reports so far published in literature show 3D objects that can change shape after the 3D manufacturing process. Nonetheless, these time-morphing 3D objects are certainly an exciting new development of conventional additive manufacturing, which would be thrilling to see translated in biofabrication strategies. Here, we present a new route towards time-dependent stimuli-responsive 3D scaffolds that can mechanically stimulate cells by harnessing the potential of shape memory polymers.

About Lorenzo Moroni
Lorenzo Moroni received his Ph.D. (cum laude) in 2006 at University of Twente on 3D scaffolds for cartilage and osteochondral regeneration, for which he was awarded the European doctorate award in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering from the European Society of Biomaterials (ESB). In 2007 he worked at Johns Hopkins University as a post-doc focusing on hydrogels and stem cells. In 2008, he was appointed the R&D director of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank of Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy, where he investigated the use of stem cells from alternative sources and the development of novel bioactive scaffolds for bone and cartilage regeneration. From 2009 till 2014, he joined again the University of Twente, where he worked as an assistant professor till 2013 and as an associate professor thereafter in the Tissue Regeneration department. Since 2012, he is a board member of the Young Scientist Forum of the ESB and co-chairman of the “Biofabrication” thematic group within the Tisssue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society. In 2013, he was also elected in the editorial board of the journal “Biofabrication”. From 2014 till 2016 he was associate professor at Maastricht University, where he became full professor in 2016 holding a chair on “Biofabrication for Regenerative Medicine”. His research group interests aim at developing new biofabrication technologies to generate libraries of 3D scaffolds able to control cell fate. For his research, he was awarded the prestigious Jean Leray award from the ESB in 2014 and the Young Investigator TERMIS Award in 2016.

About Maastricht University
Within MU, my group is part of the Complex Tissue Regeneration (CTR) department. At CTR, advanced macro, micro, and nano biofabrication technologies are developed and combined with fundamental knowledge of (developmental) biology to design and engineer complex tissues and organs. Potential applications of such complex constructs are in stem cell research, developmental biology, cancer research, pharmaceutical or toxicological screening, tissue regeneration or bioartificial organs, with emphasis on high-throughput screening approaches.

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