Our research group focuses on four main topics.
Fueled by a passion to solve current health care issues, our research focuses on understanding the interaction between polymers (plastics, hydrogels) and living organisms (bacteria, human cells). Our vision is to enable healthcare practitioners to use materials to direct the regeneration of organs one day, hence we want to provide answers to fundamental questions regarding macromolecules and the interaction of polymers with biological systems.
Turning our vision into reality, we have been developing biomedical tools, methods and materials in different fields of science and engineering. With a proven track record in establishing cutting-edge 3D bioprinting techniques, materials for 3D cell cultures, fibers for wound dressing and active medical devices to improve the survival of living cells, our research continues to demonstrate great success in the fast-growing field of biomaterials and biofabrication. .
Seaweed based materials
We have developed novel hydrogels based on chemically modified agarose polysaccharides whose mechanical properties match several natural tissues. Our research now focuses on establishing chemistry for the functionalization of these hydrogels in automatized instruments such as 3D bioprinter or liquid handling robots.
We also use agarose hydrogel to establish self-folding structures that can be actuated by a change in humidity. Future applications of these will be in architecture for self-folding structures and medical devices for the deployment of wound dressings.
We have developed a hydrogel based on agarose, a seaweed-extracted polysaccharide. This hydrogel has extraordinary properties for bioprinting. In addition to developing bioink, we also focus on establishing novel paradigms for the design of bioprinted objects.
Microwells: we have developed a series of prototypes for the transport of living cells including pancreatic islets. We have made microwells coated with biologically active proteins and oxygen releasing microwells. These have shown to support cell functions in a hypoxic environment.
Fibers: we have developed a process to electro-extrude carboxylated agarose fibers with antimicrobial ionic liquids.
In vivo therapeutic hydrogels
In vitro 3D cell culture models
We have developed a hydrogel based on agarose, a seaweed extracted polysaccharide. We can functionalize this hydrogel with cell-adhesion peptides and direct the formation of blood vessels in vitro to form 3D cell culture models. In vivo, these hydrogels can generate new blood vessels without the use of growth factors through simple injection in muscle tissue.