Building the future by doing more together

Nanobioinks - Engineering bio-based nanofibers for the development of high-performance nanostructured bioinks for 3-D bioprinting
Coordinator - Carmen Barros (CICECO)
CESAM Responsible researcher - Helena Cristina Correia de Oliveira
Programme - Programa Operacional da Competitividade e Internacionalização (02/SAICT/2017)
Execution dates - 2018-06-22 - 2021-06-21 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020 co-funded by the FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional
Funding for CESAM - 7500 €
Total Funding - 239903 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro


The discovery of new and more efficient solutions to deal with injured tissues and organs and to deliver drugs more effectively is a very challenging scientific domain but that corresponds to an economic domain of high added value products in the healthcare domain. 3D bioprinting of living tissue constructs, with specific shapes and functionalities, to repair or replace damaged parts of the human body, as well as to be used in diseases research and novel drug testing, is evolving as a groundbreaking approach in medicine. However, the availability of bioinks, i.e. the cell-laden biomaterials that are deposited by the bioprinters, with good bioprintability, high cell density and mechanical properties, is still limited and considered one of the main limitations in this field. In this scenario, and bearing in mind the expertise and interest of the research team on the design and characterization of bio-based materials and 3D printing technology, the main goal of Nanobioinks is to develop cutting-edge nanostructured hydrogel and microcarrier based bioinks with enhanced mechanical properties and high cell density, that can overcome some of the main limitations of the state-of-the-art bioinks, by engineering bio-based nanofibers, viz nanocellulose and protein fibrils. To accomplish this ambitious target, the research activities of the project are planned in four activities, focused on the: -Production of nanocellulose and protein nanofibrils with suitable properties, namely aspect ratio and morphology, and their modification in order to introduce specific functionalities, as charged groups and cross-linkable moieties; - Formulation of the bioinks, specifically the design of novel nanostructured hydrogels and microcarriers, via bioinspired self-assembly approaches (or conventional methodologies) using the nanofibrils produced in activity 1, and their loading with different cells. - Optimization of the bioprinting parameters, using the bioinks developed in activity 2, and production of tissue constructs with different shapes and features for diverse applications (tissue regeneration, cancer research and novel drugs testing) -And detailed characterization of the biomaterials, bioinks and tissue constructs produced along the project. It is expected that this project will originate a novel class of advanced nanostructured bioinks, expectably beyond the state-of-the art in this field, and consequently, will constitute an important step on the development and consolidation of 3D bioprinting of living tissue constructs, for application in distinct healthcare areas. Ultimately, it will contribute to increase life quality of society in next generations and to a more sustainable development of the civilization.


Members on this project

CESAM Funding: