Shaping 3D microenvironments using light: the new era of cell mechanobiology
Dec 2, 2022
2:30PM to 3:30PM
Date(s) - 02/12/2022
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Abstract: Our body is composed by unit blocks: organs, tissues and, ultimately, cells. Understanding the functioning of cells in health and disease, plays a fundamental role for future tissue engineering and drug-discovery applications. However, current cell biology protocols are limited to 2D cultures, which, although inexpensive and easy to handle, do not reproduce the complexity of real tissues. In this talk, I will give a flavor of how light-assisted 3D printing can impact the health of tomorrow and surpass these conventional approaches by realizing biomimetic 3D microstructures for both fundamental cell mechanobiology and in-vitro disease/treatment modeling. The seminar will in particular focus on the most recent results of our research activity which deals with the creation of biomimetic microenvironments for two types of tissue: brain and brain cancer. Concerning the first type of tissue, I will show how 3D nanostructures are able to guide the fate of primary microglia (part of the brain immune defense system) isolated from the brain of rhesus macaque, towards a physiological ramified phenotype. Concerning brain cancer (glioblastoma) on the other hand, 3D engineered microenvironments, mimicking brain micro-vessels, are employed as a reliable benchmark tool for proton radiobiology and for unveiling patient-derived glioblastoma mechanobiology. Finally, I will give a short overview of recently granted projects on 3D cell microenvironments for neurodevelopmental disorders, neuronal growth cone mechanisms and bone tissue engineering metamaterials.
Bio: Dr. Angelo Accardo is Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent 1) in the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) since June 2019, board member of the Delft Young Academy and organization committee member of the TU Delft Bioengineering Institute. The mission of his research group is to develop multi-scale (nano-micro-meso) 3D fabrication paradigms to address open questions in cell biology. The main focus is on the design and fabrication of 3D biomimetic polymeric/hydrogel architectures, by employing light-assisted additive manufacturing techniques (such as two-photon polymerization and stereolithography), in which cells can assume biomimetic 3D spatial configurations, similar to natural tissues. Particular attention is also devoted to multi-technique 3D imaging protocols combining conventional morphological characterization techniques (scanning electron microscopy) and advanced 3D fluorescence imaging (light sheet fluorescence microscopy and two-photon confocal imaging) for unveiling cellular features. During his career, he was awarded several prizes and grants including among others: Best Poster Award at the 41st International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering MNE 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands; 1st Place prize of the TU Delft Health Initiative Pilot Projects competition for the project “3D Onco-Scaffolds as a benchmark tool for Proton Radiobiology”; 3mE Sectorplan Cohesion grant for the project “Bio-mimetic meta-implants”; NWO (Dutch Research Council – Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) ENW XS grant for the project “3D engineered brain cancer microenvironments for proton radiobiology”; NWO ENW M-2 grant for the project “3D cell-instructive engineered stem cell models of human brain networks”; NWO ENW XS grant for the project “Unravelling neuronal growth cone mechanobiology via sub-micrometric fabrication and super-resolution microscopy”.
Dr. Accardo is author of 45+ publications in peer-reviewed journals, 4 book chapters and principal inventor of 1 industrial patent. His work has been featured, among others, in Nature Photonics, Materials Today, Advanced Materials, PNAS, Small, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Nanoscale. He is a regular reviewer for international journals and has given over 25 invited talks at international conferences and institutes.
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