MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine

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 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.

First VENI for MERLN. Congratulations to Aurélie Carlier! We are proud to announce MERLN's first successful VENI award to a very promising young investigator. In her proposal "Shaping the building blocks of life," Dr. Carlier will use computational techniques to investigate how cell shape can steer cell functioning. She hopes that this fundamental understanding of our basic building blocks, can be used to improve orthopaedic implants. The VENI is the first grant in the presigious line of talent identification grants given by the Dutch Funding agency, NWO. We look foward to Aurélie's continuing success and the exciting results that this research will bring to the Institute.

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.

Cross-section of a cell culture substrate created from a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) film by a combination of Deep UV direct lithography and microscale thermoforming. Such an advanced interface can allow the surface-topographical control of cells or their fate in the context of an in vivo-like, three-dimensional (micro)environment.

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