MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine

Prof. Pamela Habibović has been interviewd by WijLimburg TV to talk about her inspiring work on material-driven regeneration of bone tissues. In this interview it is explained how ceramic nanoparticles can be used in the near future to repair damaged bones and act as an alternative technology to the use of grafts, plates and screws.  The nanoparticles, that are inserted where the bone is missing, dissolve slowly and stimulate the body at the same time to repair the damaged bone.

MERLN is proud to announce the start of a new inter-regional EU project BIOMAT. The “Biomat” project aims at developing an innovative platform for high-throughput testing of biomaterials in a physiological environment on a chip. 3D microenvironments of (vascularised) bone and muscle will be engineered on microfluidic chips, and used to test the performance of biomaterials, e.g., for hip implants, bone fillers, or stents.

MERLN would like to congratulate Paul Wieringa on his successful VENI application! Providing 250.000 euros over a three year period, the VENI enables promising young scientists to independently pursue their research objectives toward a continued scientific career. This award will support Dr. Wieringa in setting up his innovative project “NeuroBeta: Creating an organ-on-a-chip screening platform of functionally innervated Islets of Langerhans”. The project aims at creating a 3D in vitro platform in order to recreate the nerve-pancreas circuit. This will be used to better understand neural regulation of pancreatic function and pathology and to develop relevant therapies for Diabetes. This will serve as a proof-of-principle to highlight the role of innervation on tissue function and disease and the potential implications for health and regenerative medicine strategies.

MERLN is happy to announce and take part in the successful funding of the 2017 Zwaartekracht proposal “Materials-driven regeneration: Regenerating tissue and organ function with intelligent, life-like materials.“ This 18.8 MEUR funding will allow an important boost to the field of Regenerative Medicine. MERLN will focus on the development of new synthetic “smart” biomaterials with the ability to instruct stem cells into new regenerated tissues. The team for the program is composed by Prof. C.V.C. Bouten (TU/e, main applicant), Prof. M.C. Verhaar (UMUC), Prof. P. Habibovic (UM), Prof. E.W. Meijer (TU/e), Prof. J.C. Clevers (Hubrecht ) and Prof. C.A. van Blitterswijk (UM).

It's all about the angles. Congratulations to Prof. Moroni and his group for their study making the back cover of Advanced Healthcare Materials. Their innovative 3D printing approach showed that by simply changing the fiber deposition patterns, they can steer stem cells to choose bone or cartilage phenotypes. This simple geometric approach holds promise to be a simple and straightforward way to optimized materials for regenerative medicine in the future.

MERLN spearheads the formation of a robust new institute for regenerative medicine 

RegMed XB will bring together multiple health foundations, top scientists, entrepreneurs and governments to cooperatively tackle ambitious challenges in regenerative medicine. Research and valorization are integrated to quickly and optimally translate research results into patient solutions and new businesses.

To learn more about the exciting developments of one of the world's largest regenerative medicine networks, look for updates on our website, or watch this introductory video.

Researchers at MERLN have recently developed a smarter method for growing human tissues in vitro. This method stimulates the natural self-organising capacity of stem cells to form tissues with complex architectures. Researchers grew an auditory ossicle (inner ear bone) and now expect to grow parts of organs. This breakthrough was described in the scientific journal Advanced Materials (Erik Vrij et al.), and a summary of the paper appeared in the Editors' Choice section of the popular magazine Science.