“I’m fascinated by the combination of technology and living things”
Within this field, new biomaterials, particularly hydrogels for cell printing and encapsulation, which are capable of mimicking the native environment of articular cartilage, are being developed, both within our center and in collaboration with other partners.
In this relatively young field, the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility performs groundbreaking work. Our researchers are frontrunners in the field of Biofabrication and Bioprinting. Our teams are establishing the foundation for the bioprinting of cartilage-derived progenitor cells, enabling the fabrication of cartilage-like tissue in vitro with zonal distribution of cells expressing zone-specific markers (i.e., lubricin in the superficial zone). The utilization of bioprinting and multiple 3D printing technologies to address the complex biomechanical profile of articulating joints is also a primary target in our research, towards the goal of fabricating large, mechanically-competent cartilage replacements.
In the 3D-Joint project, a new approach has been developed, where cartilage and bone regeneration are combined with biofabrication methods that allow cells to be printed together with micrometer and nanometer-sized fibers, which accurately mimic bone and cartilage tissue.