The Biomaterials Lab goes virtual for the 2020 Biofabrication Workshop

The Rice University Biomaterials Lab hosted their third annual Biofabrication Workshop on April 20, 2020.

A scene from the 2019 Biofabrication Workshop

The Rice University Biomaterials Lab hosted their third annual Biofabrication Workshop on April 20 covering exciting developments in the fabrication and manufacturing of tissues and organs.

In past years, the free workshop has been held at the BioScience Research Collaborative where researchers and professionals interested in fields like bioprinting, biomaterials, and organ manufacturing have participated. Nearly fifty individuals attended last year.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented registrants from gathering at Rice this April.

Instead, the conference was moved for the first time to a virtual format. Over eighty individuals from around the world gathered online to hear presentations on topics like 3D-printed bone tissues and custom bioreactors for cell culture. The online venue allowed individuals from Portugal, Spain, and other countries to participate in the workshop.

“We were extremely pleased to get such high attendance at our very niche workshop,” Dr. Anthony Melchiorri, Associate Director of the Biomaterials Lab said. “Each year we try to improve our offerings to engage any researcher interested in the area of biofabrication. This year, we had the pleasure of welcoming even more researchers into our fold, hopefully sparking new conversations to advance the field.”

The workshop drew in participants from across the United States and Europe, in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to physics.

“Part of our mission is disseminating the knowledge we develop through our close research interactions and collaborations with other institutions,” Dr. Antonios Mikos, professor at Rice and the Director of the Biomaterials Lab said. “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to reach so many individuals in a new and unique format for us.”

Melchiorri presented the opening talk of the workshop, providing an overview of bioprinting techniques. Recent Rice bioengineering graduate Maryam Elizondo also discussed advancements in bone and tissue engineering 3D printing strategies that have been developed in the Mikos Research Group and the Biomaterials Lab.

Other presenters included Dr. Bhushan Mahadik from the University of Maryland, Dr. Eleonora Dondossola from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Thomas Shupe from the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and the keynote speaker Dr. Warren Grayson from Johns Hopkins University.

Anthony Melchiorri, PhD, Associate Director, Biomaterials Lab