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- 25 min science presentation
- 10 min presentation of the career path
- 25 min Q&A
About the speaker:
Prof. Lorenzo Moroni studied Biomedical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, and Nanoscale Sciences at Chalmers Technical University, Sweden. He received his Ph.D. cum laude in 2006 at University of Twente on 3D scaffolds for 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-doctoral fellow in the Elisseeff lab, focusing on hydrogels and stem cells. In 2008, he was appointed the R&D director of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank of Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, where he investigated the use of stem cells from alternative sources for cell banking, and the development of novel bioactive scaffolds for skeletal regeneration. From 2009 till 2014, he joined again University of Twente, where he got tenured in the Tissue Regeneration department. Since 2014 he works at Maastricht University, where he is a founding member of the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine. In 2016, he became full professor in biofabrication for regenerative medicine.
His research group interests aim at developing biofabrication technologies to generate libraries of 3D scaffolds able to control cell fate, with applications spanning from skeletal to vascular, neural, and organ regeneration.
In 2014, he received the prestigious Jean Leray award for outstanding young principal investigators from the ESB and the ERC starting grant. In 2016, he also received the Young Scientist Award for outstanding principal investigators from TERMIS. In 2017, he was elected as faculty of the Young Academy of Europe.
A key factor in scaffold-based tissue and organ regeneration relies on enhancing (stem) cell-material interactions to obtain the same original functionality. Different approaches include delivery of biological factors and surface topography modifications. Although both strategies have proved to augment cell activity on biomaterials, they are still characterized by limited control in space and time, which hampers the proper regeneration of complex tissues. Here, we present a few examples where the integration of biofabrication technology platforms allowed the generation of a new library of 3D scaffolds with tailored biological, physical, and chemical cues at the macro-, micro-, and nano-scale.
By engineering their topological properties, these porous biomaterials influence the activity of seeded cells, thereby initiating the regeneration of skeletal, vascular, and neural tissues. Future efforts should aim at further improving our understanding of scaffold topological properties to achieve a fine control on cell fate at multiple scales.
This will enable the regeneration of complex tissues including vasculature and innervation, which will result in enhanced in vivo integration with surrounding tissues. By doing so, the gap from tissue to organ regeneration will be reduced, bringing regenerative medicine technologies closer to the clinics.
Top 5 publications:
- Cadafalch Gazquez G, Chen H, Veldhuis SA, Solmaz A, Mota C, Boukamp BA, van Blitterswijk CA, Ten Elshof JE, Moroni L. Flexible Yttrium-Stabilized Zirconia Nanofibers Offer Bioactive Cues for Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells. ACS Nano 2016, Jun 28;10(6):5789-99.
- Leferink A, Schipper D, Arts E, Vrij E, Rivron N, Karperien M, Mittmann K, van Blitterswijk C, Moroni L, Truckenmüller R. Engineered Micro-Objects as Scaffolding Elements in Cellular Building Blocks for Bottom-Up Tissue Engineering Approaches. Advanced Materials 2014, 26(16): 2592-9.
- Di Luca A, Lorenzo-Moldero I, Mota C, Lepedda A, Auhl D, Van Blitterswijk C, Moroni L. Tuning Cell Differentiation into a 3D Scaffold Presenting a Pore Shape Gradient for Osteochondral Regeneration. Adv Healthc Mater. 2016 Apr 24. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201600083. Highlighted on Journal Cover.
- Higuera GA, Fernandes H, Spitters TW, van de Peppel J, Aufferman N, Truckenmueller R, Escalante M, Stoop R, van Leeuwen JP, de Boer J, Subramaniam V, Karperien M, van Blitterswijk C, van Boxtel A, Moroni L. Spatiotemporal proliferation of human stromal cells adjusts to nutrient availability and leads to stanniocalcin-1 expression in vitro and in vivo. Biomaterials 2015; Aug;61:190-202.
- Chen C, Malheiro ABFB, van Blitterswijk C, Mota C, Wieringa PA, Moroni L. Direct Writing Electrospinning of Scaffolds with Multidimensional Fiber Architecture for Hierarchical Tissue Engineering. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2017; 27. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b07151