Blog

MPQC Cartilage Theme Leader Dr. Vic Camilieri-Asch and Ms. Theda Hinrichs attend the 2024 OCS Conference 

In a testament to collaborative research earlier this month, Dr. Vic Camilieri-Asch, co-lead of the Cartilage team, and Theda Hinrichs, PhD candidate, paired up to visit MPQC-associated members Prof. Shaun Collin and Ms. Caroline Kerr of La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia), prior to presenting their work at the 15th annual meeting of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society (OCS) in Geelong. A two-day visit to La Trobe University in Melbourne, included meeting presentations and brainstorming sessions within the Neuroecology Group led by Prof. Collin, as well as insightful technical discussions with experts from the La Trobe Bioimaging Platform. One of the highlights of the trip was the visit to The Australian Synchrotron in Clayton, south of Melbourne, where they gained insights into the imaging capabilities for upcoming research investigations. The reunited MPQC collaborators then attended the 2024 OCS Conference together, where they shared recent findings, reinforced and forged key connections within the global community of cartilaginous fish experts.

Congratulations to a successful travel!


MPQC Associated Member Dr Amaia Cipitria received an European Research Council grant (28 November 2023)

Dr. Amaia Cipitria, Ikerbasque Research Associate at Biogipuzkoa Health Research Institute (San Sebastián, Spain) and former group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, was selected to receive a grant of 2.3 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). Over a period of five years, the ERCCoG project DORMATRIX aims to bioengineer breast cancer dormancy as a collective emergent phenomenon. This grant will serve to develop new devices and generate new knowledge about the invisible phase of breast cancer dormancy prior to clinical metastasis, which in the long term could result in new strategies to delay or prevent metastasis. Read here more. Congratulations, Amaia!


MPQC Deputy Director Dr Nathalie Bock received an Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

MPQC Deputy Director and Network Theme Leader Dr Nathalie Bock has received $450,000 for the project, Engineering microenvironments to regulate osteocyte 3D networks in vitro.

This project, using bioinspired engineering, will employ advanced biomaterials to biofabricate, for the first time, 3D osteocyte (specialised bone) cell networks in vitro to discover how different types of bones are formed.

“This project will deliver a valuable tool for bone research because most knowledge of bone is based on just a fraction of cells that comprise bone. This is because 90 per cent of bone cells – the osteocytes – cannot be easily grown or studied outside the body,” Dr Bock said.

“A combination of additive manufacturing, advanced biomaterials and biomimetic culture will be used to bioengineer osteocyte 3D networks in vitro to control their architecture and biomineralization and identify how matrix cues support network formation and functions.”

This project will involve two PhD research students and two research honours students.


MPQC researchers on a field trip to Kalkudah, Sri Lanka

In April 2023 MPQC Postdoctoral Fellow and Theme Leader Dr. Victoria Camilieri-Asch and her MPQC PhD student Ms. Theda Hinrichs recently travelled to the field for a cross-collaborative research opportunity facilitated by collaborator Ms. Betty Laglbauer, from the Manta Trust, and hosted by Blue Resources Trust (BRT) in Kalkudah, Sri Lanka. As part of the formed collaboration, the BRT team – Daniel Fernando, Akshay Tanna, Gobiraj Ramajeyam and Neranjan Anusha – together with Manta Trust Fisheries & Policy Manager Betty Laglbauer and QUT MPQC researchers have collected specific sensory and cartilage samples from three CITES-listed species of mobulid rays, otherwise discarded from the corresponding specimens landed.

Biological samples collected from these shallow water chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) will be used by up to six collaborative research projects conducted across multiple institutions in Australia and beyond. As part of the wider ‘Fish Cartilage’ research theme of the MPQC, these will constitute an essential part of the specimens used in Theda’s PhD project on the ‘functional organisation and biophysical properties of cartilaginous tissues in selected shallow-water chondrichthyans’.

 

 


MPQC Deputy Director Dr Nathalie Bock received the biennial Emerging Investigator Award

MPQC Deputy Director and Network Theme Leader Dr Nathalie Bock was invited to present a keynote on ECM-derived hydrogels as bone and cancer disease models at ASBTE2023, the 28th international

conference of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering in Christchurch, New Zealand. At the conference she was also honoured with the biennial Emerging Investigator Award from the Society. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions and leadership in the fields of Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering. Congratulations Nathalie!

 

 

 

 


MPQC scientist Dr Maximilian Rummler won the 2023 ECTS – Nestlé Basic/Translational Poster Forum Award

The European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) and Bone Research Society (BRS) join forces to provide a unique platform for sharing the most relevant and cutting-edge science and innovation in calcium, bone and mineral metabolism in Europe. On their 60th annual congress between 14th and 18th April in Liverpool, United Kingdom, the MPQC scientist Dr Maximilian Rummler won the 2023 ECTS – Nestlé Basic/Translational Poster Forum Award. Maximilian is part of the MPQC Network team and works in Dr Richard Weinkamer’s team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. Congratulations, Max!

 

 


MPQC Scientific Advisory Board member Professor Molly Stevens receives the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize for her pioneering work in innovative bioengineering approaches (22 February 2023)

Science of small things does not sound like something that can have a big impact on the world, but nanotechnology has proved this is wrong. Tissue engineering, efficient drug delivery and more sensitive screening for diseases are just a few examples. According to Professor Molly Stevens, the new technologies can democratise access to healthcare. She is now receiving the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize for her pioneering work in innovative bioengineering approaches to pursue the vision of solving key problems in regenerative medicine and biosensing. Read more here.

We congratulate Molly from our core for winning the prestigious award. It’s curtain call, and the applause is for you, Molly. What you have been able to achieve is phenomenal. Our virtual standing ovation represents only a fraction of the recognition you deserve. We couldn’t have been more impressed!

 

 


MPQC Theme Leader Dr Victoria Camilieri-Asch at the Australian Society of Fish Biology 2022 (5-11 November 2022)

The annual meeting of the Australian Society of Fish Biology 2022 (ASFB2022) at the Crowe Plaza in the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia), between November 5-11. The audience and colleagues were very interested in potential approaches/techniques to be developed for aging deep-sea fish species such as chimaeras and deep-sea sharks presented by Dr Victoria Camilieri-Asch, Theme Leader of the cartilage project.

Indeed, sustainable stock assessments and fisheries by-catch management measures need to be implemented based on reliable aging, which proves difficult for deep-sea species that have limited/irregular mineralisation or deposition patterns in their skeletal areas, usually used to determine age at given size. Such research could be investigated via collaborations using the same tissues, and the potential provision of future specimens/samples which could be needed. New connections were made and ideas for future collaborative research in this space were discussed.

 

 


MPQC Theme Leader Dr Martina Delbianco was selected to receive a ERC grant  (22 November 2022)

Dr Martina Delbianco, Synthetic ECMs Theme Leader, was selected to receive a grant of 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). Over a period of five years, the EU will fund her project GLYCOFOLD, working on the development of programmable carbohydrate architectures, which in the long term may result in the creation of new materials from sugar. GLYCOFOLD will address fundamental questions related to carbohydrate structure with the ultimate goal of developing programmable carbohydrate foldamers and architectures.

Martina Delbianco received her PhD from Durham University (UK) in 2015, was then a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, and has been leading the research group “Carbohydrate Materials” in the department of Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger since 2018. Read more here.

Congratulations, Martina!

 


MPQC Co-Director Professor Dietmar W Hutmacher awarded as Highly Cited Researcher 2022 (16 November 2022)

MPQC Co-Director and Soft Robotics Theme Leader Distinguished Professor Dietmar W Hutmacher was awarded as Highly Cited Researcher 2022 by Clarivate™. Each year, Clarivate™ identifies the world’s most influential researchers ─ the select few who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade. In 2022, fewer than 7,000, or about 0.1%, of the world’s researchers, in 21 research fields and across multiple fields, have earned this exclusive distinction. A list of the awarded researchers can be found here.

Dietmar is among this elite group recognized for his exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™. Congratulations!

 

 


MPQC Theme Leader Dr Victoria Camilieri-Asch at the Sharks International 2022 (18-22 October 2022)

Dr Victoria Camilieri-Asch, theme leader of the cartilage project, presented results of her MPQC related work at the Sharks International 2022 (SI2022) at the Oceanográfico in Valencia, Spain, between October 18-22. Feedback showed keen interests in potential characterisation approaches and techniques used. Important ecological questions that could be investigated via collaborations using the same tissues, and the potential provision of future specimens/samples which could be needed. Many new connections were made and ideas for future research shared.


 

HDR Student Agathe Bessot swoops two awards at the 7th Bone Marrow Adiposity Conference in Athens, Greece (30 September 2022)

 

 

 

 

Part of the human ECM stream, PhD student Agathe Bessot gets two accolades for her excellent PhD work on deciphering ‘The role of bone marrow fat in advanced prostate cancer using bioengineered humanized models’. One award was for best abstract and the other for best presentation.

Congratulations Agathe and her supervisory team, including Dr Nathalie Bock and Dr Jacqui McGovern!

 

 

 

 

 


MPQC Co-Director Professor Hutmacher visits the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (28 September 2022)

 

 

Distinguished Professor Dietmar W Hutmacher (left) visited Professor Metin Sitti (right), the Director of the Physical Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and his group, to discuss the soft robotics projects within MPQC. Distinguished Professor Hutmacher did also deliver a talk titled ” Melt electrowriting as enabling technology platform to develop ultrafast, miniature soft actuators”.

 

 


MPQC Principal Investigator Dr Marie-Luise Wille receives a Rising Star Award from the Women in Technology Organization (16 September 2022)

Congratulations go to Dr Wille, the Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) in Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling and Manufacturing (M3D) and MPQC investigator for her leadership and research achievements at QUT. This was part of the 25th Annual WiT awards held in Brisbane, Australia, celebrating the successes of Queensland women in the fields of technology and sciences. Congratulations Luise!

 


 

MPQC Co-Director Professor Hutmacher and his interdisciplinary team impactful translational research acknowledged by Advance Queensland (6 September 2022)

Metro North Health surgeons in Brisbane recently carried out a world-first trial of new technology replacing a woman’s silicone breast implants with 3D printed bioresorbable scaffolds that use the body’s natural regenerative capabilities.

The technology is based on over 10 years of fundamental and preclinical research led by Professor Dieter Hutmacher and an interdisciplinary team from QUT, the Herston Biofabrication Institute, Metro North Health’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Institute, German-based medtech company BellaSeno, and many other partners, who set out to provide a safer alternative to permanent silicone implants.

Professor Hutmacher and his team used cutting-edge 3D printer technology to develop the biodegradable scaffold that guides the biological regeneration of a woman’s breast.

Professor Hutmacher said: ‘Like some of us I love this quote from Leonardo da Vinci “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”; and it still after 20 years in academia it punctually resonates in me. Unquestionably, the concept of simplicity is central to the work we do in bench to bedside translation. Too many research groups create tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TE&RM) concepts that are the opposite of simple—they are confusing, complicated, and never ending. Paradoxically, crafting a simple bench to bedside road map in TE&RM requires knowledge, effort, skill, dedication, experience…. not of the individual yet the interdisciplinary team as a unit. Yes, it’s relatively easy to publish a study, but we’d rather develop translational research programs which outcome is sophisticated and beautiful…simple.’

Read the full story here.

 

 

 

 

 


Paper Invitation for journal Biomedicines – Special Issue “Human ECM in Homeostasis and Pathology”

In collaboration with the journal Biomedicines (Impact factor 4.757), Dr Amaia Cipitria and Associate Professor Larisa Haupt organize the Special Issue: “Human ECM in Homeostasis and Pathology”, which is now open for submission of manuscripts. They invite you to contribute a full research paper or review article for peer-review and possible publication. As Guest Editors, they believe your contribution will have a great impact on the scientific contents.

More details can be found at: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/biomedicines/special_issues/U5DT483N86

The submission deadline is 31 March 2023. This year is the 10th anniversary of Biomedicines. It is planned to grant waivers for those high-quality papers. If you have interest, please send the detailed information of your paper including “Title”; “Authors”; “Affiliations”; “Abstract”and your planned submission date to Amaia Cipitria and Larisa Haupt.

In case you need any further information, please never hesitate to contact the editorial office (Jeremiah.yi@mdpi.com or biomedicines@mdpi.com ).


Seminar – Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher (8 July 2022)

MPQC Co-Director Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher visits MPQC Associated Investigator Dr Amaia Cipitria in her lab at Biodonostia, Health Research Institute in San Sebastian, Spain for his talk ‘Cognoscenti Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MPQC members present their work at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) meeting in Krakow, Poland – (28 June to 1 July 2022)

Several MPQC members, including student Silvia Cometta-Conde and principal investigators Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher, Dr Flavia Medeiros-Savi and Dr Nathalie Bock, enjoyed a rich program at the TERMIS-Europe 2022 meeting in Poland, June 2022.

Spanning from cutting-edge science in cell biology, biomaterials, biofabrication, 3D tissues and organs development, numerical and experimental methods, clinical applications, and many more, our MPQC members presented their own work in the field via posters and oral presentations.

D/Prof Dietmar W. Hutmacher presented a commending Keynote Lecture on the ‘Perspectives and Challenges in Regenerative Medicine’ on the last day of the meeting.

 


SBS Radio Interview – Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher (29 April 2022)

Dietmar Hutmacher
MPQC Co-Director Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher gives SBS correspondent Katharina Loesche an insight into the research tasks of the Centre.‎

The interview (in German) can be listened to online at SBS Deutsch.

 


Inaugural speech to launch Max Planck Queensland Centre (3 February 2022)

Martin Strattman
Professor Doctor Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, delivered an inspiring inaugural speech to launch the Max Planck Queensland Centre (MPQC) on the 3rd February 2022.

 

You can watch the presentation below: