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BIO-MAT

Developing a microfluidic chip for biomaterial testing

Treatment of medical patients will increasingly focus on ‘personal regenerative medicine’. In the future, new skin, bones or even organs will be built from cultured cells and biomaterials. This new form of treatment is generating great expectations in the personal care field, but also faces major challenges, as it requires a lot of high-quality knowledge and technology.
European Interreg Flanders-The Netherlands

To be able to test biomaterials on a large scale, a so-called ‘organ-on-chip’ offers new possibilities. This is a small plate that mimics an organ or tissue, on which new biomaterials can be tested directly in a physical environment. To develop this chip and to prepare it for a broad introduction and use, a strong partnership is required between both academic and industrial partners.

BIO-MAT creates a brand new microfluidic chip: the ‘organ-on-chip 2.0’. This chip is sown with stem cells to mimic a body’s own organ or tissue, provided with supply and discharge of micro-fluid and sensitive sensors to perform measurements. The innovative aspect of this chip is the three-dimensional (3D) environment that is formed, in contrast to classic cell culture plates in which cells or tissues grow on a flat surface. Moreover, microfluidics - very small channels in which liquids are transported - mimic the transport of body fluids. To demonstrate the functionality of this revolutionary technology, demonstrators will be built based on three types of clinical applications: bone, muscle and on-chip vascularized bone or muscle.

“The BIO-MAT project is clearly aligned with our wider organizational purpose of using our scientific competences to create brighter lives.” – Ynze Mengerink, Principal Scientist, DSM Materials Science Center.

The project partners include Universiteit Maastricht (MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine), Mimetas, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Xplore Instruments, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Tenco DDM, Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum – IMEC and DSM.

Interreg

This project is established by a contribution of the European Interreg Flanders-The Netherlands program that stimulates innovation, sustainable energy, a healthy environment, and the labor market by means of cross-border projects. Interreg contributes 50% of the budget. The provinces of North-Brabant, Antwerp, East-Flanders, and Flemish-Brabant offer additional funding.

Driving regional employment

The BIOMAT project has made an important contribution to the further development of the Flemish-Dutch border region as a top location for the development of biomedical materials.