BIST Colloquium Series 2021-22
From Tissue Engineering to Cybernetics
by Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz of Technical University of Denmark
Degenerative diseases are spreading rapidly in the world, however, unfortunately, conventional methods are no longer valid for addressing these. Hence, it is the time to manipulate the technology in a way that it serves mankind better. These days, orthopedic diseases are a global pandemic, and there is a need to develop an injectable microenvironment for cells to be guided into bone-like tissue to remedy such conditions. Our primary results indicate that polysaccharide-based hydrogels (i.e., alginate and pectin) in combination with other biomaterials (such as hyaluronic acid and gelatin) and/or nanomaterials can be employed to enhance osteogenesis while they are structurally suitable for injecting into the defect site. The critical element in these studies was taking advantage of a combinatorial approach to screen different parameters in a “high-throughput” manner. Meanwhile, nowadays, various biosensors are trying to find their way into the field of tissue engineering. Along this vein, we have developed a new silk-based composite that is flexible, biocompatible, scalable and conductive. Our findings show that this sensor can transmit light and keeps its functionality at high frequencies. The prepared construction is cheap and scalable, thus, expected to be a building block for future strain-detection sensors and diagnostic devices. The developments in this direction were indeed provocative, and opened a new window at the crossroad of engineering, biology, robotics, chemistry, and medicine. Further research is needed to make the most of these connections and make a platform for diagnosing, treatment, and monitoring patients with different bone-related diseases.
Alireza Dolatshahi‐Pirouz received his Ph.D. in physics from Aarhus University in 2009 and then took on a postdoctoral‐research position at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School. He joined Technical University of Denmark as an Assistant Professor in 2015 and later on started his own research group, #TeamBioEngine, at DTU Nanotech. Currently, the group is a part of the newly launch department, Health Technology, and their research lies at the crossroads of biology, engineering, physics, chemistry and biomaterials. #TeamBioEngine aim to create advanced material innovations based on bioinspired discoveries, and they believe such bioinspired materials and complex nanostructures will drive the engine of the next big revolution in material science. They are trying to explore interesting green solutions in the fields of nanomedicine, electronics and tissue engineering. Along this vein, they introduced Fleco-ionics and Fleconess in 2019, which offers a huge leap forward towards foldable substrates for flexible electronics. What’s more, the team is currently working on developing new self‐healable and stretchable materials with high electrical sensitivity for applications within the emerging fields of flexible electronics, cyborganics, and soft robotics. In 2018, Alireza Dolatshahi‐Pirouz received a VIDI Grant to further develop his innovative research on regenerative biomaterials at Radboudumc. To date he has published close to 70 papers–most published in medium to high impact journals. He is also a highly cited young researcher with his citations numbering 3384 and an h-index of 33 according to Google Scholar.
This colloquium is part of the BIST Master of Multidisciplinary Research in Experimental Sciences curriculum but is also open and free for anyone interested in participating. If you want to assist please send an email to email@example.com
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