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Understanding the embryonic aorta with bioprinted models - new funding from ZonMw

Which stimuli lead to the birth of hematopoietic or blood stem cells, during our embryonic development? The production of blood stem cells (BSCs) is a vital process for maintaining a healthy blood system and enables life-saving treatments such as BSC transplants. However, most model to study these cells and their interaction with their native environment, require in vivo, in embryo studies. To change that, we will develop a new 3D bioprinted model of the birthplace of BSC in the embryonic aorta, and aim to understand how to guide BSC production, so that ultimately new ways to produce stem cells for therapies can be established. To do that, our lab will collaborate with Catherine Robin, head of the Hematopoiesis and stem cells research group at the Hubrecht Institute, building a synergistic team between biofabrication, bioengineering and developmental biology expertise.

We are excited to start this new collaborative project, funded by the Dutch Health Research and Medical Sciences council (ZonMw) Open Competition. The ZonMw Open Competition grant is intended to promote innovative and curiosity-driven team science that leads to groundbreaking science of exceptional quality in the field of health research. A total of 29 grants (out of 116 applications) were awarded this year.

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