Science and Technology of Regenerative Therapeutics
Full course description
This is the first course for the Regenerative Medicine (RM) specialization within the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Master’s program. This first block will provide the student with a solid foundation of knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of RM. At its core, RM aims to replace, engineer, or regenerate tissues and organs in order to establish normal function in the human body. Not falling completely within a traditional discipline, researchers and teams within RM combine fundamental physical and biomedical sciences with technology and engineering in order to discover novel methods of regenerating the body. With successes, scientists within RM must also be able to effectively translate this scientific knowledge into a useful clinical therapy. In this first course, students will learn the basics in not only the biological science of regeneration, including stem cell biology and pathophysiology, but also the technology behind RM, including materials science, chemistry, biofabrication, and computational modeling. This intensive course employs a variety of educational forms in order to both give an overview of the field and allow students to dig into topics of interest. Students will learn to work in teams, to think critically utilizing the scientific method, and to communicate across the borders of traditional disciplines. Already in this first block, the acquired knowledge will directly be applied to propose new solutions for state-of-the-art RM case studies.
- Understand the molecular processes of wound healing and modulation of tissue homeostasis, and how these mechanisms can be leveraged in the development of regenerative therapies.
- Obtain working knowledge of both a cell’s (or tissue’s) immediate natural environment, and the current uses of biomaterials to provide artificial environments for tissue growth.
- Understand the successes and failures of current (stem) cell regenerative approaches.
- Understand the different applications of organoid technology for studying development, homeostasis, tissue repair, and diseases.
- Be able to describe the composition and organization of ECM (the original biomaterial) and understand the synthesis, structure, and degradation of therapeutic biomaterials.
- Be able to describe processing technologies used to fabricate biomaterials into 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering, and be able to identify what the important factors of scaffold design are.
- Understand the basics of microfabrication techniques and the working concepts of bioreactors and organ-on–a-chip.
- Understand the importance of the cell-material interface for tissue engineering, and be able to explain how Materiomics approaches can aid in the designing of this interface.
- Be able to critically assess the quality aspects of a research question, methodology, and results. Be able to make supported decisions when designing a regenerative medicine experiment.
- Be able to clearly present and discuss scientific research in the field of regenerative medicine to those within and outside of the field.
The basic literature for the course:
- Clemens Van Blitterswijk and Jan de Boer (2015). Tissue Engineering, 2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-12-420145-3.
- Anthony Atala et al. (2011). Principles of Regenerative Medicine, 2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-12-381422-7
- Jan de Boer and Clemens van Blitterswijk (2013). Materiomics – High-throughput Screening of Biomaterial Properties, 1st edition, ISBN 978-1-10-701677-4
During the journal clubs the students will receive a number of publications related to the topic of the week.
The students are also encouraged to search for additional information using other resources (i.e. the internet), the quality of which will be discussed in the tutorial groups.