NU SEDS Research seminar “Tissue engineering of the 3D in-vitro human organotypic bone model”

April 5, 2023 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Nazarbayev university, Block 3, Room 3.416


SEDS Research seminars 2

The Nazarbayev University School of Engineering and Digital Sciences and National Laboratory Astana invite you to the research seminar “Tissue engineering of the 3D in-vitro human organotypic bone model”. 

Speaker: Dana Akilbekova, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, NU SEDS

Date: 5 April 2023, Wednesday
Time: 14:00-15:00
Language: English
Venue: Block 3, Room 3.416

Registration form for external participants

Dr. Dana Akilbekova obtained her Ph.D. at Iowa State University. In 2019, after she accomplished her postdoctoral training at ETH Zurich, she joined Nazarbayev University as an assistant professor. Currently, the research interest of Dr. Akilbekova lies in the field of engineering the organized bone extracellular matrix (ECM), particularly in mimicking the intricate organization of collagen fibers in the bone. Her team consists of scientists with complementary specializations in microbiology, chemistry, and engineering. She serves as a PI and co-PI of several governmental-funded projects.

ABSTRACT: The growing interest in generating 3-D in-vitro models, including those that mimic bone fracture and other pathologies, comes from the concept of the three Rs: reducing, refining, and replacing animal testing. Creating functional bone grafts for clinical use requires several iterative steps, including in-vitro tests, animal in-vivo tests, and human trials. However, the existing in-vitro models disregard the importance of the physiological microenvironment, particularly the role of the extracellular matrix on the bone regeneration process, supplying only rough approximations of the real in-vivo picture. Therefore, despite the differences between human and animal bone biology, e.g., trabecular bone network, density, or bone turnover rate, nowadays, the only way to evaluate the efficacy of bone substitute materials toward osteointegration in a bone defect and comprehensive investigation of the bone repair process relies on animal-based modeling. This gap represents one of the major drawbacks of mimicking human clinical situations and leads to an inadequate translation of pre-clinical tests in animal models to human clinical trials. As a result, above 50% of new chemicals or discoveries fail during the Phase-III trials. Alternatively, the development of 3-D in-vitro models offers a simplified methodology for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in the bone fracture repair process and/or scaffold-mediated control of bone fracture repair. In this sense, the in-vitro models provide a logical and consistent step in the investigation of bone-regeneration mechanisms and related biological processes. These models will allow the tuning of relevant parameters in early, pre-clinical studies, increasing the reliability of results, reducing the number of animals needed, and hopefully increasing the success rates of prosthetic surgeries.