Steven Vermeulen


Engineering the tendon fibroblast micro-environment.

After finishing his PhD, which involved the use of surface structures to guide cell behavior, Steven started a post-doc position at the IBE group of the MERLN Institute. Here, Steven continued exploring the material-cell biological interface by investigating how micro-well supported organoid systems can contribute to creating more relevant physiological environments for tissue-engineering applications. 

In standard culture conditions, we find that a monolayer cell culture, the hard tissue culture plastic, and the 2D environment, attribute in creating noisy conditions that diminish our potential to control cell behavior properly. Organoid systems allow for a 3D environment with more physiological cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Such models can be harnessed for better iPSCs and MSC differentiation protocols, study disease progression, and clinical applications. Here, a central focus will be to investigate how micro-well systems, together with other relevant environmental perturbations, allows for the creation of bone organoids.

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