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Bioengineering technologies

Mission

The domain BioEngineering Technologies (BET) performs both fundamental and applied research with one central mission: the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for patients. This mission is pursued through the application of state-of-the-art technologies at the interface of chemistry, (stem)cell and molecular biology, biomaterials and membrane science, microfluidics, microengineering and nanotechnology. The domain also provides high level education in the above fields and creates a stimulating environment for research valorization leading to creation of products and companies.

Our research is multidisciplinary in nature and is applied in a broad range of applications. This spans from injectable hydrogels to battle osteoarthritis, to implantable bioartificial pancreas devices to help treating type 1 diabetes and to organs-on-chips to test the safety and efficacy of new drugs and therapies. Our students, in the bachelor and master programs of Health Sciences, BioMedical Engineering and Technical Medicine, play an active role in pursuing our mission.

Partnerships are essential in our research. We collaborate with other domains of our university but also with other academic institutions, hospitals and companies, in the Netherlands and abroad. This helps us to bundle knowledge and expertise, valorize research and ultimately to succeed in our mission: to improve healthcare through innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for patients.

Highlights

Bioartificial pancreas devices for treatment of type I diabetes

Diabetes causes one in ten of adult deaths in Europe. The (bio)artificial organs chair of Professor Dimitrios Stamatialis focuses on the development of novel immune-protective membrane-based cell encapsulation devices, containing insulin producing cells for regulation of blood glucose in T1D, without the need for injections and immunosuppressive drugs. 

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(Bio)engineered KidNey systems for blood detoxification

For patients with chronic kidney disease the best solution would be organ transplantation. However, due to shortage in donor organs and the fact that not all patients are eligible for transplantation, most patients are currently treated with therapies using artificial kidney devices. The chair of (bio)artificial organs, led by Professor Dimitrios Stamatialis, focuses on developing bioengineered kidney systems to improve the lives of these patients. 

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Injectable hydrogels for cartilage repair

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of rheumatic diseases. In the Netherlands, more than 1.2 million patients suffer from this disease. The Developmental BioEngineering group, headed by professor Marcel Karperien, has developed a new reparative treatment strategy. The treatment consists of an injectable hydrogel that is used to fill up a cartilage defect.

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Targeted treatment of cancer

Despite many treatments against cancer, treatment of cancer is still a big challenge in clinics and within our research domain. On the one hand, researchers are uncovering the underlying biology of tumor stroma interaction, while on the other hand, they are developing innovative technologies to target specific tumor stromal cells to inhibit their pro-tumorigenic effects and thereby improve the efficacy of anti-cancer therapies.

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3D (bio)printing and fabrication

Our research groups use 3D (bio)printing in several ways to design and fabricate scaffolds, membranes and tissues, which can be used for research in various fields.

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Coordinators

prof.dr. H.B.J. Karperien (Marcel)
Full Professor
prof.dr. D. Stamatialis (Dimitrios)
Full Professor

Involved research groups