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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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April 25, 9:42 AM
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Catarina Jones secures 2nd place at the Annual International Biomedical Students Meeting (AIMS) Research Competition

Catarina Jones secures 2nd place at the Annual International Biomedical Students Meeting (AIMS) Research Competition | iBB | Scoop.it

AIMS Meeting is the largest biomedical conference in Europe, organized by medical students, gathering each year over a thousand participants from all the world. Under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Esteves and Dr. Paola Sanjuan-Alberte, Catarina's innovative research reached the finals of the AIMS research competition, securing the second-place award and a €1,000 grant. Out of over 200 abstracts submitted, only 60 were selected to present a poster and pitch, with just three advancing to the finals to present in the plenary session and receive awards. This team focuses on developing advanced wireless nanobioelectronic systems aimed at targeting cancer bioelectricity, addressing critical challenges in healthcare.

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Congratulations Catarina!!

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March 6, 6:20 AM
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Synergy between 3D electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation to improve bone tissue engineering strategies

Synergy between 3D electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation to improve bone tissue engineering strategies | iBB | Scoop.it

In a recent article published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B, iBB researchers working in collaboration with colleagues from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria and CERENA, demonstrated a synergistic effect between 3D printed porous electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation (EStim) in the enhancement of the osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBMSCs), envisaging improved bone tissue engineering (BTE) strategies. The 3D scaffolds were fabricated in polycaprolactone (PCL) and coated with the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) following previously optimized strategies. Results show that the PEDOT:PSS coatings are electroconductive (11.3–20.1 S cm−1), stable (up to 21 days in saline solution), allow the immobilization of gelatin (Gel) to further improve bioactivity, and enhance the in vitro mineralization of the scaffolds. Finite element modelling allowed the prediction of the magnitude and distribution of the electrical fields within the conductive scaffolds structure when submitted to EStim. The osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs was performed with and without EStim and the abovementioned synergy between conductive materials and EStim in the improvement of BTE strategies was clearly shown by the increased cell-secreted calcium deposition (tissue mineralization) and by the upregulation of bone-specific marker genes. This study was coordinated by Dr. João C. Silva (iBB) and Dr. Fabio Garrudo (iBB and IT) and performed under the scope of the FCT projects BioMaterARISES (EXPL/CTM-CTM/0995/2021) and InSilico4OCReg (PTDC/EME-SIS/0838/2021).

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November 16, 2023 6:59 AM
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Catarina Jones presents at the 7th annual conference of RedeSAÚDE and wins best University of Lisbon master thesis award

Catarina Jones presents at the 7th annual conference of RedeSAÚDE and wins best University of Lisbon master thesis award | iBB | Scoop.it

The work developed by the master’s student Catarina Jones, supervised by Teresa Esteves and Paola Sanjuan-Alberte, entitled “Novel wireless Nanobioelectronic Systems to Rewire Cancer Bioelectricity” was selected among several works developed at the University of Lisbon (UL) and presented at the 7th annual conference of RedeSAÚDE on the 14th of November. This research, which developed an effective, targeted, and non-invasive therapy for breast cancer by exploiting cancer's unique bioelectrical properties, was awarded as the Best Master Thesis in the Oncology and Precision Medicine field at UL.  This project emphasized the critical role of interdisciplinary teamwork in pioneering and achieving breakthroughs in healthcare innovation.

A heartfelt appreciation is given to RedeSAÚDE's organizers for bringing together experts from various healthcare fields, fostering an environment of innovative thinking and providing substantial incentives for biotech research and innovation.

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More info available here.

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September 18, 2023 5:33 AM
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SCERG-iBB researcher João Carlos Silva was awarded with a ON Foundation Education Travel Grant to attend EORS 2023

SCERG-iBB researcher João Carlos Silva was awarded with a ON Foundation Education Travel Grant to attend EORS 2023 | iBB | Scoop.it

João Carlos Silva was awarded with one of the Education Travel Grants of the Orthoregeneration Network (ON) Foundation to participate and share the latest developments of his research work on novel strategies for bone and cartilage tissue engineering in the European Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) conference meeting 2023, which will be held on the 27th-29th September at the Alfandega Porto Congress Centre, Porto-Portugal.

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September 7, 2023 12:11 PM
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Novel Electroactive Mineralized Polyacrylonitrile/PEDOT:PSS Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Repair Applications

Novel Electroactive Mineralized Polyacrylonitrile/PEDOT:PSS Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Repair Applications | iBB | Scoop.it

The repair of bone defects remains an important challenge in current orthopaedic clinical practice. Novel approaches, including electrical stimulation-based therapies, have been gaining traction due to their encouraging results in both in vivo and in vitro settings. The development of electroconductive scaffolds to assist this type of therapy holds significant promise, as such constructs could be used to guide electrical stimuli directly to the damaged site, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the regeneration process. In an article recently published in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences, iBB researchers Frederico Barbosa, João Silva, Fábio Garrudo and Frederico Ferreira, in collaboration with colleagues from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) and CERENA, developed mineralized and electroconductive PEDOT:PSS-based nanofibers with bone-like features. This project was developed under the scope of Frederico Barbosa’s PhD thesis, supervised by Frederico Ferreira and João Silva.

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July 27, 2023 12:20 PM
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Inspiration and Teaching: The Journey of Tiago Fernandes at Técnico Taguspark

Inspiration and Teaching: The Journey of Tiago Fernandes at Técnico Taguspark | iBB | Scoop.it

Tiago Fernandes, professor at the Bioengineering department (DBE) at Técnico and researcher at the Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), recently spoke about his life path and his experience at Técnico, more specifically on the Taguspark campus.

He characterises Técnico Taguspark as “Welcoming” due to his familiar environment. He considers that people's relationships are closer, and that the peaceful environment helps him concentrate on his work.

 

Check out Tiago Fernandes' interview here: “Técnico Taguspark in a word”.

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May 3, 2023 1:23 PM
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Innovative design and manufacturing of curvature-featuring scaffolds for osteochondral repair

Innovative design and manufacturing of curvature-featuring scaffolds for osteochondral repair | iBB | Scoop.it

The irreversible progressive nature of degenerative osteochondral defects, affecting both articular cartilage and the subchondral bone, is a leading cause for joint disease and disability among adults, resulting in severe limitations for people to perform daily activities and represents a heavy economic burden for society. Current treatments do no provide adequate long-term solutions and innovative tissue engineering strategies are regarded as a promising alternative to improve clinical outcomes. A key aspect that needs to be considered is the integration between native tissue and the tissue engineered construct. In this recent article resulting from a collaboration between researchers from iBB and CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria, published in the Journal Polymers, a new approach to design and manufacture curved scaffolds to mimic osteochondral tissue geometry was presented. The curvature of the sphere was proposed as a template and a procedure was developed for an automated design of scaffolds with explicitly defined curvatures. Fused filament fabrication (3D-Printing) was used for scaffolds’ manufacturing. A Shape fidelity analysis implemented through micro-CT and SEM imaging validated the maximum curvature printability limit predicted from CAD modeling and confirmed the suitability of fused filament fabrication to manufacture curvature-featuring scaffolds. Additionally, a mechanical analysis was conducted with printed scaffolds and through finite element analysis to determine scaffold mechanical properties and identify the regions more susceptible to higher loads.

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April 21, 2023 4:21 AM
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Will food be produced using 3D printers in a factory?

Will food be produced using 3D printers in a factory? | iBB | Scoop.it

Diana Marques, a PhD candidate at the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), was challenged by Fernando Gaspar to answer this question.

 

In an interview for the podcast "Consórcio do Bem-Estar," Diana discussed the Algae2Fish project's goals with Fernando Gaspar, José Alberto Maia Pereira, and Alvaro Cidrais. Diana is developing research on unique techniques for generating 3D bioprinted fish fillets.

 

The Algae2Fish project is currently ongoing at iBB and aims to produce seabass fish fillets using 3D bioprinting. These scaffolds will support fish cell growth, provide adequate mechanical and structural properties, and contribute to the final tissue nutritional and organoleptic features.

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Link for podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxD-FeTMG2Q

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February 2, 2023 2:00 PM
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Anion exchange chromatography-based platform for the scalable purification of extracellular vesicles

Anion exchange chromatography-based platform for the scalable purification of extracellular vesicles | iBB | Scoop.it

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane vesicles fundamental for cellular communication processes. Either by taking advantage of EVs innate properties, or by loading them with therapeutic agents, EVs have emerged as cell-free strategies with diverse clinical applications. Indeed, when compared to mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), similar or better therapeutic benefits have been reported for MSC-derived EVs, thus explaining the increased interest in EVs over the years. Despite appealing features, EVs implementation in the clinic is still limited by technical difficulties, like robust isolation methods capable of delivering a high-quality product with high yield. In this work, published in the journal Separation and Purification Technology, we described anion exchange chromatography as a robust and better alternative to already implemented techniques. Following this strategy, more than 85% of injected EVs could be recovered, while complying with the stringencies set by regulatory agencies. This study developed at iBB was led by Dr. Ana Fernandes-Platzgummer and Prof. Ana Azevedo and co-first-authored by PhD students Ricardo Silva and Sara Sousa Rosa.

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January 19, 2023 2:09 PM
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Advancing organoid design through co-emergence, assembly, and bioengineering

Advancing organoid design through co-emergence, assembly, and bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Human adult stem cells and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells represent promising tools to understand human biology, development, and disease. Under a permissive environment, stem cell derivatives can self-organize and reconstruct their native environment, resulting in the creation of organ-like entities known as organoids. Although organoids represent a breakthrough in the stem cell field, there are still considerable shortcomings preventing their widespread use, namely their variability, limited function, and reductionist size. In this recently published review article in Trends in Biotechnology, Miguel Tenreiro (Ph.D. student in Bioengineering), Prof. Margarida Diogo, and co-authors from iBB highlight emerging technologies to fill in the gaps in organoid design and provide insights on how they can be best utilized to fulfill the potential of organoids.

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November 15, 2022 4:17 AM
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Electrically Conductive Hydrogels for Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Electrically Conductive Hydrogels for Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

As current treatment options for cartilage degeneration remain ineffective, tissue engineering has emerged as an exciting approach to create cartilage substitutes. In particular, hydrogels seem to be suitable candidates for this purpose due to their high biocompatibility and customizability, being able to be tailored to fit the biophysical properties of native cartilage. Moreover, these hydrogel matrices can be combined with conductive materials in order to simulate the natural electrochemical properties of articular cartilage. In this recent review published in the journal Gels, iBB researchers Filipe Miguel (MSc student in Biotechnology), Frederico Barbosa (PhD student in Bioengineering), Prof. Frederico Ferreira and Dr. João Silva highlight the most common conductive materials combined with hydrogels and their diverse applications, and discuss the current state of research on the development of electrically conductive hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering.

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April 28, 2022 3:21 AM
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Additive Manufactured PCL-Graphene Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

Additive Manufactured PCL-Graphene Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Understanding the mechano–biological coupling mechanisms of biomaterials for tissue engineering is of major importance to assure proper scaffold performance in situ. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to establish correlations between biomaterials, their processing conditions, and their mechanical behaviour, as well as their biological performance. In a collaborative work between CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria and SCERG-iBB  (João C. Silva and Frederico Ferreira), it was possible to infer a correlation between the addition of different concentrations of graphene nanoparticles (GPN) in three-dimensional poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-based scaffolds, their extrusion-based processing parameters, and the lamellar crystal orientation observed in the different scaffolds through small-angle X-ray scattering experiments. Moreover, in vitro cell culture studies performed at SCERG-iBB demonstrated the suitability and potential of these novel 3D PCL/GPN scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. The results of this study were just published in Polymers.

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February 23, 2022 11:48 AM
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InSilico4OCReg – Computational Models Optimizing In Vitro Biophysical Stimulation Protocols for Osteochondral Regeneration

InSilico4OCReg – Computational Models Optimizing In Vitro Biophysical Stimulation Protocols for Osteochondral Regeneration | iBB | Scoop.it

The research project “InSilico4OCReg - In silico models guiding in vitro biophysical stimulation of biomimetic hierarchical scaffolds: a computational modelling approach towards functional osteochondral regeneration” was recommended for funding by FCT (250,000 euros in the 2021 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The project started in January 2022 and aims to develop an innovative combined in silico modelling-in vitro experimental system which, inspired by the properties of the native osteochondral tissue, will be able to optimize tissue engineering strategies towards the production of implants with improved functionality and mechanical properties. The multidisciplinary team of InSilico4OCReg includes researchers from iBB, CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY-USA), and an orthopedic surgeon (Hospital dos Lusíadas). The project, which falls within the scientific area of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Systems, is headed by João Carlos Silva (PI, SCERG-iBB) and Prof. Paula Pascoal-Faria (co-PI, CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria).

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March 6, 1:18 PM
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Electrical stimulation towards improved osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells

Electrical stimulation towards improved osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells | iBB | Scoop.it

Electrical stimulation (ES) has been tested clinically for over 40 years to promote bone healing, mainly as an adjunct to standard fracture treatments. However, the biological mechanisms by which ES promotes bone healing and the osteogenic commitment of bone progenitors cells remain poorly described.

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, iBB researchers (João C. Silva, Fábio Garrudo and Frederico Ferreira) in collaboration with Sofia Fernandes (IBEB-Faculdade de Ciências-Universidade de Lisboa) and João Meneses, Nuno Alves and Paula Pascoal-Faria (CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria), study the effect of five different ES protocols on the viability, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBM-MSCs). A numerical finite element method (FEM) model of the culture platform was employed to characterize the system and predict the magnitude/distribution of the electric fields generated by the different ES protocols. In vitro cell culture studies showed that all the ES protocols did not impair cell viability and morphology and supported the osteogenic differentiation of hBM-MSCs. Our results evidenced relevant differences when considering the applied protocol operation mode (potential versus current controlled), including the choice of stimulus duration and period. They also suggest an improved performance of the applied current-controlled protocol (STIM3 OM) in promoting hBM-MSCs osteogenic differentiation as shown by a more efficient in vitro mineralization and higher expression of the late osteogenic marker genes. Overall, this work emphasizes the critical role of numerical modelling in selecting and optimizing ES parameters to improve MSC-based osteogenesis in vitro, a step forward towards the development of novel therapeutic strategies for bone regeneration.

This study was developed under the scope of the FCT funded projects “InSilico4OCReg” (PTDC/EME-SIS/0838/2021) and “OptiBioScafold” (PTDC/EME-SIS/4446/2020).

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March 6, 6:16 AM
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Heparinized Acellular Hydrogels for Magnetically Induced Wound Healing Applications

Heparinized Acellular Hydrogels for Magnetically Induced Wound Healing Applications | iBB | Scoop.it

The regulation of angiogenesis could be very helpful in the development of therapeutic approaches for wound healing and anticancer therapy. Recently, Dra. Filipa Pires from Instituto de Telecomunicações in collaboration with IBB (Dr. João C Silva and Dr. Frederico C. Ferreira) and FCT-UNL (Dr. Carla Portugal) researchers, designed magnetic heparinized hydrogels to modulate the anti-inflammatory and angiogenic activity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), aiming to accelerate tissue healing. The results evidenced that the application of a static magnetic field guides MSC alignment and affects the angiogenic and anti-inflammatory character of the MSCs secretome. Particularly, the outcomes showed that the hydrogels containing less heparin and magnetic nanoparticles (0.25%) display a low pro-inflammatory character, ensuring an MSCs secretome with enhanced pro-angiogenic properties, which showed to be able to enhance wound contraction and cell migration rate compared to non-heparinized hydrogels.

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This work was recently published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces journal and was financially supported by the FCT project “BeLive” (PTDC/EDM/30828/2017).

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November 16, 2023 6:49 AM
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iBB present at IST-Taguspark Open Day 2023

iBB present at IST-Taguspark Open Day 2023 | iBB | Scoop.it

On November 11th, the Taguspark campus was filled with activities led by our researchers, teachers and students, and a vibrant atmosphere that permeated every corner of our facilitiess.

iBB was involved with visits to our SGERG laboratories and it was a pleasure to receive our guests.

We would like to thank everyone who was involved in these activities and important day to our IST-Taguspark community.

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September 7, 2023 12:16 PM
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Hydroxyapatite-filled osteoinductive and piezoelectric nanofibers for bone tissue engineering

Hydroxyapatite-filled osteoinductive and piezoelectric nanofibers for bone tissue engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

The production of piezoelectric constructs in order to address osteoporotic-related fractures holds significant promise. Such scaffolds could be used to mimic the native piezoelectric features of bone as well as assisting electrical stimulation-based therapies, which have been found to accelerate bone repair. In an article recently published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, iBB researchers Frederico Barbosa, João Silva, Fábio Garrudo, Marta Carvalho, Paola Alberte, Leonor Resina and Frederico Ferreira, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Nottingham and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, developed novel hydroxyapatite-filled PVDF-TrFE nanofibers with enhanced piezoelectrical properties and osteogenic potential.

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August 29, 2023 9:27 AM
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3D (Bio)printing of Magnetic Hydrogels and their Potential for Tissue Engineering Applications

3D (Bio)printing of Magnetic Hydrogels and their Potential for Tissue Engineering Applications | iBB | Scoop.it

Magnetic hydrogels have recently been drawing a lot of attention in the scientific community due to their remote controllability and high biocompatibility. By combining these materials with a 3D bioprinting technique, it is possible to fabricate intricate structures responsive to an external magnetic stimulus, thus allowing the tuning of the constructs properties to better recapitulate the microarchitecture of native tissues. In this article recently published in the International Journal of Bioprinting, iBB researchers Duarte Almeida, Paola Sanjuan-Alberte, João C. Silva and Frederico Ferreira provided an overview of the current state of the art of magnetic hydrogels, exploring the production of the magnetic components and their introduction in the hydrogels, and emphasizing the current research made on the applications of these materials for tissue engineering strategies.

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June 12, 2023 2:05 PM
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“Advanced Bioprocessing Strategies for Tissue Engineering and Biomimetic Modelling Applications” in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology

“Advanced Bioprocessing Strategies for Tissue Engineering and Biomimetic Modelling Applications” in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology | iBB | Scoop.it

Advances in bioprocessing technologies have allowed the scalable and reproducible fabrication of tissue engineering (TE) constructs with higher structural complexity and functionality, achieving a closer mimicry of native-like microenvironments. The Research Topic co-edited by iBB researchers Dr. João C. Silva and Dr. Carlos Rodrigues in collaboration with Prof. Eirini Velliou (University College London, UK) and Prof. Diana Massai (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) aims to provide an overview of the major advances in bioprocessing technologies and methods for TE and regenerative medicine applications. Relevant strategies involving bioreactors, microfluidic systems, 3D bio-printed tissues and organ-on-chips that provide biomimetic, monitored, and controlled 3D in vitro culture conditions for the biophysical stimulation of cells or TE constructs towards improved functionality will receive special attention. Novel stem cell bioengineering and biomaterial-based approaches applied to regenerative medicine and in vitro disease modelling are also of special interest, together with new technologies for biological tissue characterization or for identifying and testing innovative pharmacological treatments. Moreover, innovative in silico and AI-based approaches paving the way towards optimized and automated TE strategies are also welcomed.

This Research Topic invites contributions (Original Research articles and Literature Review manuscripts) describing and discussing the most recent and innovative developments in bioprocessing TE strategies for regenerative medicine and disease modelling applications, leveraged by advances in bioreactor systems, novel biomaterials, 3D bioprinting methods, imaging and biosensing, computational modelling, AI and machine learning, among others.

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May 3, 2023 5:00 AM
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Developmental Toxicity Studies: The Path towards Humanized 3D Stem Cell-Based Models

Developmental Toxicity Studies: The Path towards Humanized 3D Stem Cell-Based Models | iBB | Scoop.it

Today, it is recognized that medicines will eventually be needed during pregnancy, either due to gestation-related medical conditions or pre-existing diseases. Also, the rate of drug prescription to pregnant women has increased over the past few years, in accordance with the increasing trend to postpone childbirth to a later age. However, information regarding teratogenic risk in humans is often missing for most of the purchased drugs. Inter-species differences have limited the suitability of animal models to predict human-specific outcomes, contributing to misidentified human teratogenicity. Therefore, the development of physiologically relevant in vitro humanized models can be the key to surpassing this limitation. In this context, this review describes the pathway towards the introduction of human pluripotent stem cell-derived models in developmental toxicity studies.

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April 13, 2023 10:35 AM
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Recent Advances on Electrospun Nanofibers for Periodontal Regeneration

Recent Advances on Electrospun Nanofibers for Periodontal Regeneration | iBB | Scoop.it

As current treatments for periodontitis have failed to promote tissue repair and the coordinated regeneration of the whole periodontium, innovative therapeutic strategies are urgently needed to improve the clinical outcomes. Electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds are particularly promising for applications in periodontal regeneration since they are able to mimic the native tissue extracellular matrix (ECM) features such as the size and alignment of the fibers present in the periodontal ligament (PDL). In this article recently published in the journal Nanomaterials, iBB researchers MSc Mafalda Santos, Dr. Marta Carvalho and Dr. João Silva provided an overview of the current state of the art of the application of electrospun nanofibers in periodontal regeneration, either as guided tissue regeneration (GTR) membranes or as scaffolds for tissue engineering strategies.

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January 24, 2023 9:23 AM
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Hypothermic Preservation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells as a Viable Solution for the Storage and Distribution of Cell Therapy Products

Hypothermic Preservation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells as a Viable Solution for the Storage and Distribution of Cell Therapy Products | iBB | Scoop.it

Cell and gene therapies (CGT) have reached new therapeutic targets but have noticeably high prices. Solutions to reduce production costs might be found in CGT storage and transportation since they typically involve cryopreservation, which is a heavily burdened process. Encapsulation at hypothermic temperatures (e.g., 2–8 °C) can be a feasible alternative. In this study, we determined the ability of alginate encapsulation to maintain cell viability, identity, and function in the context of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based therapy manufacturing. MSC encapsulation was proven possible for a remarkable 12 day period, showing its potential to act as a serious competitor to cryopreservation for short to medium time periods. This study developed at iBB was led by Dr. Ana Fernandes-Platzgummer and Prof. Cláudia Lobato da Silva and first-authored by PhD student André Branco.

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November 18, 2022 5:14 AM
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Recreating Human Heart Development in the Lab

Recreating Human Heart Development in the Lab | iBB | Scoop.it

The embryonic development of the human heart under healthy and pathological conditions is still very poorly understood. In a recently published Nature Communications paper, a iBB team led by Margarida Diogo, in collaboration with Perpetua Pinto do Ó at i3S, engineered a unique organ-like model from stem cells that recreates several stages of embryonic development of the human heart. This humanized model opens now the path to study, in a tissue engineering lab, the development of congenital heart diseases, such as coronary vascular diseases and myocardium non-compaction cardiomyopathies, and can be further applied in drug screening and toxicology assays during embryonic heart development. This last topic is particularly relevant since pregnant women normally do not take part in clinical trials, making this human cell-based in vitro platform the only viable alternative to assess developmental cardiotoxicity. The work was a part of the PhD thesis in Bioengineering – MIT Portugal program of Mariana Branco, the first author of the paper, and was funded by the FCT project “Mini-Hearts - Organoid Engineering for Production of 3D Cardiovascular Microtissues from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cardiotoxicity”.  

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October 28, 2022 1:14 PM
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SCERG-iBB hosts students from DIS Study abroad in Scandinavia program

SCERG-iBB hosts students from DIS Study abroad in Scandinavia program | iBB | Scoop.it

Last October 13th, SCERG-iBB hosted an enthusiastic group of 20 US students and two teachers from the DIS Study abroad in Scandinavia program (https://disabroad.org/dis/). DIS is a non-profit study abroad foundation established in Denmark in 1959, with locations in Copenhagen and Stockholm. DIS provides semester, academic year, and summer programs taught in English, and offers high-impact learning experiences for upper-division undergraduate students from distinguished North American colleges and universities. Throughout this morning, the students were acquainted about the different focus areas and research labs at SCERG-iBB and to visit the labs to observe hands-on experiments.   

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March 23, 2022 12:22 PM
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Piezoelectric Nanofibers for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering

Piezoelectric Nanofibers for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Osteochondral (OC) tissue disorders, particularly osteoarthritis, number among the most prevalent and debilitating diseases in the adult population worldwide. However, despite the recent achievements in the field, no satisfactory clinical treatments have been developed to date to resolve this unmet medical issue. Notably, while the piezoelectric nature of the OC tissue has been extensively reported in different studies, this feature keep being neglected in the design of novel biomaterial scaffolds for OC regeneration. Thus, piezoelectric electrospun scaffolds capable of both recapitulating the piezoelectric nature of the tissue’s fibrous extracellular matrix and of providing a platform for electrical and mechanical stimulation of cells/tissues are promising platforms to promote OC regeneration. In a recent publication in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, SCERG-iBB researchers MSc Frederico Barbosa, Prof. Frederico Ferreira and Dr. João Silva review and discuss the current state of the art of such piezoelectric biomimetic scaffolds for OC tissue engineering strategies.