An Engineer’s Guide to Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

"A. C. Payatakes" Library, Extension Building, 1st Floor, Department of Chemical Engineering
19/11/2019 - 00:00

Title: An Engineer’s Guide to Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

Speaker: Dr Ioannis Papantoniou
          1. Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research & Technology – Hellas (FORTH) 2. Adjunct Professor, Prometheus division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium


Ever since the introduction of the concept of Tissue Engineering, the field has developed and matured from a hype to a proper scientific discipline. Cell therapy and Regenerative Medicine are witnessing ‘interesting times’. What for the past two decades was an academia-based sector, is currently evolving into an up-and-coming, dynamic and multifaceted industry capable of delivering commercially viable solutions to patient populations in need. This means that the field is witnessing a reversal of the innovation drivers as it has started to move from a biology-driven field, towards a patient-driven and manufacturing-focused one.

This evolution was made possible through innovations at the interface between biologic and technologic innovation, including robust biological building blocks, precise biomanufacturing technologies, in-depth characterization methods and advanced in silico models. Combining this with novel insights in TE-related regulatory sciences and business strategies, the field is ready to meet the grand challenge of designing, developing and delivering living implants with the accuracy and robustness expected from inanimate implants, leading to sustainable, predictable and vastly superior biological and clinical results.

In this presentation I will try to provide an overview of the potential contribution that a Chemical Engineer might have in this evolving and growing healthcare sector.

Speaker Info

Ioannis Papantoniou graduated in Chemical Engineering, at the University of Patras, Greece. After graduation he pursued a Doctoral degree (MPhil and PhD) at the Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London (UCL), funded by an IKY (National Greek Scholarship Foundation) scholarship while subsequently carried out his postdoctoral studies in skeletal tissue engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium. He has recently started and is heading the Tissue by Design lab at the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), as an independent researcher and holds also a  dual position at KU Leuven as an adjunct professor at the department of Development and Regeneration.

His research activities have resulted in 3 book chapters, 37 peer reviewed journal publications and more than 50 conference presentations and 1 patent to date. He is currently coordinator of the H2020 JointPromise consortium, recently approved by the EU commission, and has participated in several national and international consortia around tissue engineering and stem cell bioprocessing. In addition he initiated several industrial collaborations with both cell therapy product developers but also technology providers.

His research aim is to produce compliant single and 3D cell-based products with built-in arranged quality attributes. He has pioneered the development of bottom-up engineered tissues that have shown to possess unique bone forming potential. Moreover he is maintaining a translational perspective by designing scalable and robust manufacturing processes, required for moving ATMPs  into the clinic and rendering them accessible for patient populations in need.