Bioengineering for the biofabrication: a multidisciplinary session promoted by GNB 

Biofabrication is a complex process calling for the integration of a broad range of expertise (materials and 3D bioprinting, but physical-mechanical modeling and cell modeling, sensors, cell signal analysis, advanced tools for tissue maturation, etc.).In this regard, bioengineering can support such an integration boosting the definition of novel paradigm for biofabrication. The symposium aims at collecting contributions dealing with the exploitation of bioengineering approaches that uses multidisciplinary approach to tackle biofabrication challenges. The session is promoted by Italian National Bioengineering Group (GNB)

New trends in 4D biofabrication techniques 

4D biofabrication is a recent manufacturing paradigm that allows to obtain dynamic biologically-functional 3D constructs that modulate their shape and properties over time (4th dimension) under an applied external stimulus. Such a temporal evolution allows not only to overcome current limitations in manufacturing complex geometries, but also to program cell fate. This opens new perspectives in tissue and cancer engineering as well as in drug delivery. This Symposium is intended to cover the latest advances in this field, bringing together specialists from different disciplines. Areas of interest within this Minisymposium will include, but will be not limited to:

  • Active (bio)materials 
  • Functional in-vitro models
  • Process physics and technology
  • Pre-clinical evidence
  • Computational modeling
  • Clinical applications

Harnessing Light-based technologies and materials in Biofabrication 

In the quest to capture the complex environment of living tissues within lab-made systems, light emerged as a uniquely powerful stimulus for enabling dynamic and spatio-temporal control over cell and biomaterial properties. Merging knowledge from photochemical biological processes, recent advances in light-sensitive proteins and photopolymers, innovative approaches to design biomaterials and 3D constructs are opening new avenues in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.  

Light-responsive moieties permit to non-invasively trigger mechanical actuation and shape-changes in cell-laden constructs, to modulate stiffening or softening of the extracellular milieu, as well as to provide spatio-temporal control over drug and growth factor release. Moreover, photocrosslinkable and light-sensitive hydrogels are becoming more relevant for tissue culture and as bioinks for bioprinting. Cell-laden building blocks can be sculpted with unprecedented degrees of geometrical freedom into high resolution architectures, via stereolithography, volumetric tomographic bioprinting and multiphoton bioprinting. This symposium offers a forum to discuss i) novel photoresponsive systems (molecules and initiators) and biomaterials, ii) the impact of light stimuli on cell response (including tissue functions beyond viability), as well as iii) the integration of such discoveries in light-based biofabrication and 3D printing technologies, to obtain highly biomimetic constructs. Light-based processes, linking with key areas within the biofabrication field, including bioprinting, responsive materials, and photochemical control of cell behavior, are rapidly evolving, holding an untapped potential to establish a versatile toolkit for tissue engineers. Given the wide array of applications that could benefit from such technologies, the topics discussed in this symposium will have important implications for many areas of interest for the biofabrication community, including regenerative grafts, soft robotics, mechanobiology, remotely activated bioreactors, organ-on-chip and advanced in vitro models that could simulate tissue dynamics during development, regeneration and disease progression. 

The symposium will encourage discussion on smart regenerative grafts that can be modulated in situ, and advanced in vitro models that can be remotely stimulated to capture more closely their native counterparts, with potential applications in drug discovery. To cover the multidisciplinary impact of this field within the Biofabrication community, the symposium will start with one invited talk, focusing on light-activated materials for bioprinting and bioassembly (Dr. Khoon Lim, University of Otago, New Zealand). The program will be completed by podium presentations selected from abstracts submitted to the conference. Merging different expertise from biofabrication, physics, biomaterials and biology, this symposium links together communities within ISBF, for example also those interested in the generic biofabrication and in the responsive material topics, offering new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange.

3R in Biofabrication

This Symposium is intended to promote the role of Biofabrication in the implementation of the 3Rs Principles (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement). We aim at covering the whole spectrum of contributions to address the 3Rs Principles challenges through Biofabrication: bioink design, 3D bioprinting, physical-mechanical modeling, cell modeling, sensors, cell signal analysis, advanced tools for tissue modelling and characterisations, etc.


With increasing of the adoption of biofabrication technologies to design and fabricate 3D tissue constructs for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, we also witness a correspondent increase in the know-how of the biomaterials, cell signaling, and biological functionality at play during regeneration. These constructs can also be used as advanced human 3D in vitro models to understand pathological mechanisms and develop new therapies. In this symposium, we will have a few examples of how biomaterials, cell biology, and engineering principles come together to develop new advanced 3D tissue constructs as in vitro models and regenerative medicine products.