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Asst. Prof. Riccardo Levato, University Medical Center Utrecht - The Netherlands - "Biofabrication technologies for engineering functional living tissues"

Hours:
16 hours (4 credits)

Room:
Aula Riunioni del Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Via G. Caruso 16, Pisa - Ground Floor

Short Abstract:

The function of living tissues is intimately linked to their complex architectures. Biofabrication technologies are rapidly advancing as powerful tools capable to capture salient features of tissue composition and thus guide the maturation of engineered construct into mimicking functionalities of native organs. In biofabrication, multiple cell types and biomaterials are patterned in three dimension through automated processes, either via bioprinting or bioassembly. The current paradigm in bioprinting relies on the additive layer‐by‐layer deposition and assembly of repetitive building blocks, typically cell‐laden hydrogel fibers or voxels, single cells, or cellular aggregates. Since its initial conception and its first implementations through inkjet printing technologies, bioprinting rapidly introduced a new toolset for bioengineers and material scientists to produce new strategies to restore the function of impaired tissues. In this course, both currently available and innovative bioprinting approaches will be reviewed, with a particular focus on how these techniques can be combined to mimic the multi-material hierarchical composition of living tissues. Key concepts underlying extrusion, laser and light-based technologies will be discussed, together with the recent emergence of layerless volumetric and field-based printing methods. Finally, technological advances and challenges towards the biofabrication of both in advanced in vitro models for biomedical and pharmaceutical research, as well as the production of clinically-relevant multi-tissue constructs for regenerative medicine via will be discussed, in light of specific, state-of-the-art examples of biofabricated tissues.

Course Contents in brief:

  1. Introduction to additive manufacturing
  2. Fundamentals of biofabrication: enable cell processing via bioprinting and bioassembly technologies
  3. Hydrogels, bioinks and biomaterial inks
  4. Extrusion-based bioprinting
  5. Sacrificial templates and suspended printing
  6. Light-driven bioprinting
  7. Layer-by-layer and layerless 3D biofabrication
  8. Field-based fabrication strategies (magnetic, sound and light fields)
  9. Printability, shape fidelity and automation in biofabrication processes
  10. Smart and stimuli-responsive prints
  11. Addressing specific challenges in tissue engineering: examples of applications in regenerative medicine and in vitro models

Schedule:

Day1

  1. Introduction to additive manufacturing (1hr)
  2. Fundamentals of biofabrication (1hr)
  3. Hydrogels, bioinks and biomaterial inks (2 hrs)

Day2 – time

  1. Extrusion-based bioprinting (1:30 hr)
  2. Sacrificial templates and suspended printing (1hr)
  3. Light-driven bioprinting (1:30 hr)

Day3

  1. Layer-by-layer and layerless 3D biofabrication (1hr)
  2. Field-based fabrication strategies (magnetic, sound and light fields) (1 hr)
  3. Printability, shape fidelity and automation in biofabrication processes (1 hr)
  4. Smart and stimuli-responsive prints (1hr)

Day 4

Addressing specific challenges in tissue engineering: examples of applications in regenerative medicine and in vitro models

  1. Musculoskeletal tissue engineering (1hr)
  2. Liver repair (1hr)
  3. Cardiovascular and neural applications (1hr)
  4. In vitro models and biofabrication for organ-on-chip applications (1hr)