Regenerative Medicine Utrecht

Jos Malda, PhD

UMC Utrecht

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Biofabrication in translational regenerative medicine


Professor Jos Malda is Head of Research at the Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Utrecht and the Department of Equine Sciences, University of Utrecht. He also leads the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility.He is a long-standing Board member of the International Cartilage Repair Society and President of the International Society for Biofabrication.

He received his MSc degree in Bioprocess Engineering (Wageningen University, 1999) and completed his PhD on Cartilage Tissue Engineering in 2003 (University of Twente). He subsequently accepted a research fellowship at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia). In 2007, Dr Malda was awarded a fellowship that allowed him to establish his research group in Utrecht, which focuses on biofabrication and biomaterials design, in particular for the regeneration of (osteo)chondral defects. He has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, was awarded an ERC Consolidator grant in 2015 and is one of the initiators of the first international master’s programme in Biofabrication.


Living tissues display complex 3D architectures and multicellular composition, which is difficult to reproduce in tissue engineered devices. Our research aims to promote tissue regeneration, by recreating such 3D biological environment using biofabrication technologies. In particular, we focus on biofabrication-based strategies to regenerate articular cartilage and the whole joint environment. Our research focusses on the development of novel approaches for osteochondral repair through the convergence and development of biofabrication technologies, including robotic dispensing, melt electrospinning writing and stereolithography. For this purpose, we develop our own bioinks for printing, and test them with different cell sources that have potential for clinical applications. The bioprinted constructs are tested in vitro, in ex vivo (explants) osteochondral defect models and bioreactors to provide tissue maturation and validation as close as possible as that occurring in the in vivo situation. Moreover, promising strategies are translated towards in vivo models (rabbit joint and equine OC defects), with potential impact in human and veterinary medicine.

Moreover, application of biofabrication technologies is also extended to other fields for the development of in vitro models and regenerative solutions. By applying our know-how in additive manufacturing and in combination with the wide range of resources available at the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility, we collaborate with a range of academic and industrial partners to develop new technologies and in vitro models. A few examples are the development of perfusable models to study breast cancer invasion, liver performance, as well as models to study fertilization and kidney function.

Selected literature

Pubmed search: Malda J

  1. Malda J., Boere J., van de Lest C.H., van Weeren P.R., and Wauben M.H.M. (2016) Extracellular vesicles for joint repair and regeneration. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 12(4):243-249
  2. Visser J., Melchels F.P.W., Jeon J.E., van Bussel E.M., Kimpton L.S., Byrne H.M, Dhert W.J.A., Dalton P.D., Hutmacher D.W. and Malda J. (2015) Reinforcement of hydrogels using three-dimensionally printed microfibers. Nature Communications 6:6933
  3. Malda J., Visser J., Melchels F.P., Jüngst T., Hennink W.E., Dhert W.J.A., Groll J., and Hutmacher D.W. (2013) Engineering of hydrogels for biofabrication. Advanced Materials, 25(36): 5011-5028
  4. Melchels F.P.W, Domingos M.N.O., Klein T.J., Malda J., Bartolo P. and Hutmacher D.W. (2011) Additive manufacturing of tissues and organs. Progress in Polymer Science, 37(8):1079-1104
  5. Woodfield T.B.F., Malda J., de Wijn J., Péters F., Riesle J. and van Blitterswijk C.A. (2004). Design of Porous Scaffolds for Cartilage Tissue Engineering Using


Mailing address for correspondence

J. Malda
University Medical Center Utrecht
Huispostnummer: G05.228
Postbus 85500
3508 AB Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 88 755 1133