Lorenzo Moroni

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Moroni studied Biomedical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, and Nanoscale Sciences at Chalmers Technical University, Sweden. He received his Ph.D. cum laude in 2006 at University of Twente on 3D scaffolds for osteochondral regeneration, for which he was awarded the European doctorate award in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering from the European Society of Biomaterials (ESB). In 2007, he worked at Johns Hopkins University as a post-doctoral fellow in the Elisseeff lab, focusing on hydrogels and stem cells. In 2008, he was appointed the R&D director of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank of Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, where he investigated the use of stem cells from alternative sources for cell banking, and the development of novel bioactive scaffolds for skeletal regeneration. From 2009 till 2014, he joined again University of Twente, where he got tenured in the Tissue Regeneration department.

Since 2014 he works at Maastricht University, where he is a founding member of the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine. In 2016, he became full professor in biofabrication for regenerative medicine.

His research group interests aim at developing biofabrication technologies to generate libraries of 3D scaffolds able to control cell fate, with applications spanning from skeletal to vascular, neural, and organ regeneration.

In 2014, he received the prestigious Jean Leray award for outstanding young principal investigators from the ESB and the ERC starting grant. In 2016, he also received the prestigious Young Scientist Award for outstanding principal investigators from TERMIS. In 2017, he was elected as faculty of the Young Academy of Europe and in the top 100 Italian scientists within 40 worldwide by the European Institute of Italian Culture. Since 2019, he is chair of the Complex Tissue Regeneration department and vice-director of MERLN.

Selected publications

  • Moroni L, Burdick JA, Highley C, Lee SJ, Morimoto Y, Takeuchi S, Yoo JJ. Biofabrication Strategies for 3D In Vitro Models and Regenerative Medicine. Nature Reviews Materials 2018 3(5). Key aspect: leading opinion review on current achievements and future challenges in biofabrication.
  • Hendrikson WJ, Rouwkema J, Clementi F, van Blitterswijk CA, Fare S, Moroni L. Towards 4D printed scaffolds for tissue engineering: exploiting 3D shape memory polymers to deliver time-controlled stimulus on cultures cells. Biofabrication 2017, 9(3), 031001. Key aspect: first conceptual proof that shape memory polymers can be used as a “mechanical trainer” of cells resulting in different cell morphology.
  • Gunnewiek MK, Di Luca A, Bollemaat HZ, van Blitterswijk CA, Vancso GJ, Moroni L*, Benetti EM*. Creeping Proteins in Microporous Structures: Polymer Brush-Assisted Fabrication of 3D Gradients for Tissue Engineering. Adv Healthc Mater 2015, Jun 3;4(8):1169-74. Key aspect: new technology to develop protein gradients in 3D scaffolds that hold the potential to control stem cell activity in space and time.
  • Ramos T, Ahmed M, Wieringa P, Moroni L. Schwann Cells Promote Endothelial Cell Migration. Cell Adh Migr. 2015 Nov 2;9(6):441–51. Key aspect: first study in the regenerative medicine community showing interplay between neural and endothelial cells.
  • Leferink A, Schipper D, Arts E, Vrij E, Rivron N, Karperien M, Mittmann K, van Blitterswijk C, Moroni L*, Truckenmüller R*. Engineered Micro-Objects as Scaffolding Elements in Cellular Building Blocks for Bottom-Up Tissue Engineering Approaches. Advanced Materials 2014, 26(16): 2592-9. Key aspect: new technology to build macroscopic tissues from microscopic objects in a bottom-up approach.



In vivo 3D screening

Anatomically scaffolding