Innervation and vascularization of 3D muscle tissues: from disease models to therapeutic applications


Event details

Date and time 02.03.2021 15:0016:00  
Speaker Dr Sébastien Uzel
Category Conferences - Seminars

The formation of human tissues that recapitulate the complex structure and function of their in vivo counterparts is a grand technological challenge and the development of advanced biomanufacturing techniques would greatly benefit many fields of application ranging from drug development to regenerative medicine. Of particular interest are muscle tissues (cardiac or skeletal), crucial for blood circulation or locomotion, and whose vital activity strongly depends on their 3D architecture, as well as their interaction with the nervous and vascular systems. From the cellular scale to the organ level, various engineering tools help us shape, control, and interrogate such biological tissues. For example, microfluidic systems are an excellent strategy towards high throughput, automated, and reductionist cultures of tissue models, while 3D bioprinting enables the production of complex, large-scale and perfusable organ-specific constructs for therapeutic use. In the first part of my talk, I will highlight an in vitro motor unit model to study neuromuscular disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in which I have combined microfluidics and optogenetics to provide controlled stimulation of 3D neuromuscular junctions. Then, I will describe a biomanufacturing technique to assemble therapeutically relevant and cellularly dense cardiac constructs. This technique, called Sacrificial Writing into Functional Tissue (SWIFT), consists of the rapid free-form embedding of perfusable vascular channels into a living matrix composed of multicellular aggregates, such as organoids or cell spheroids. Finally, to illustrate scalable manufacturing strategies, I will present our high-throughput conformal printing method based on an adaptive multinozzle printhead design that enables the rapid functionalization or repair of surfaces with arbitrary topographies.

Sebastien Uzel is a Research Associate at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Sciences from Ecole Centrale in Paris, France, where he investigated bone fracture. He then moved to Cambridge, MA, and obtained his PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. In Prof. Kamm and Prof. So’s labs, he designed microfluidic platforms and developed optogenetic tools to mimic spinal cord development and control the 3D microenvironment of neuromuscular tissues. In 2015, Sebastien joined Prof. Lewis’ lab at Harvard University, where his research focuses on developing 3D printing technologies to assemble vascularized functional biological tissues, as well as designing multinozzle printheads for high-throughput multimaterial manufacturing.