Lisanne Dechant

Lisanne Dechant

Master student

Multimaterial scaffolds using protein-based hydrogels for skeletal tissue engineering

Supervisors: Dr. Joanna Babilotte, Clarissa Tomasina, Prof. Lorenzo Moroni (Maastricht University, NL), Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini (FAU)

Disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) significantly impact patients’ quality of life by impeding basic activities such as speaking and eating [1]. The field of complex tissue regeneration aims to engineer scaffolds that can replace the osteochondral interface of the TMJ, combining different biomaterials, biofabrication techniques, and cells [2]. In this Master’s thesis, we propose the design of a multimaterial scaffold for the replacement of the TMJ in a single construct. The goal is to combine melt electro-writing, an emerging technique that relies on voltage-stabilized jets to produce microscale polymer fibers with excellent mechanical stability [3], with a bioactive protein-based hydrogel. The project is a collaboration with the MERLN Institute for Technology and Regenerative Medicine at Maastricht University, NL, where all experimental work is being conducted.

[1] Van Bellinghen, X. et al. Temporomandibular Joint Regenerative Medicine. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 19, 446 (2018).

[2] Atala, A., Kasper, F. K. & Mikos, A. G. Engineering Complex Tissues. Science translational medicine, 4(160) (2012).

[3] Dufour, A. et al. Integrating melt electrowriting and inkjet bioprinting for engineering structurally organized articular cartilage. Biomaterials 283, 121405 (2022).