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3D bioprinting is often hailed as having the potential to revolutionize the medical world through regenerative implants, and could one day even lead to lab-grown organs and tissues. Several research teams around the world are already working on their own unique ways to 3D print cell structures, but all are faced with one significant obstacle: how do you 3D print a scaffolding in which the cells can live and grow into whatever you need them for? That obstacle is currently being tackled by researchers from the Moroni Lab at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who have pioneered several 3D printable scaffold designs displaying the gradients necessary to influence the differentiation of adult stem cells towards skeletal cells.

This is a very important first step on the road towards 3D printed bone implants, and has come out of one of the largest biofabrication centers in Europe. The Moroni Lab was founded two years ago, as part of MERLN institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine at Maastricht University. Their roots can be found at the University of Twente in 2009, when the research group was first set up. Since then, they have grown into a key member of the Brightlands ecosystem, which is working to establish new biomedical 3D printing programs in collaboration with clinical hospital departments. The Moroni Lab is further backed by various European initiatives and linked to various international biofabrication efforts.

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