Integration of 3D bioprinting and 'organ-on-a-chip' systems for tissue engineering of the small intestine

Reference number

MIZŠ: 5442-1/2018/59

Financing, programme, call

The operation is cofunded by the Republic of Slovenia(MIZŠ)and the European Union European regional development fund. Operational Programme for Cohesion Policy Funding 2014 – 2020. Public call »Javni razpis za spodbujanje raziskovalcev na začetku kariere 2.1«. 

Partnering organisations

IRNAS d.o.o.


Boštjan Vihar (project manager), Tatjana Golob (coordinator at MFUM), Uroš Maver (head of research group) 


1.4.2019 – 31.3.2022 

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Short description

The overall goal of this project is to produce an in vitro model of human small intestinal mucosa that mimics the physiology of the native tissue and allows reproducible fabrication for further research into intestinal physiology, pharmacology and toxicology, while representing an important milestone on the road to regenerative medicine of the intestine with transplants. According to the current state of the art, simple, single-layered Caco2 cell models are used for the above-mentioned research, which do not sufficiently reflect the physiology of the mucosa.


  • Characterisation and preparation of biomaterials for tissue engineering
  • Preparation of stable cell (co)cultures of intestinal absorptive epithelium and underlying vasculature
  • Preparation of advanced cell formulations and synthetic ECM (bioink) for 3D bioprinting
  • Optimisation of 3D bioprinting procedures
  • Fabrication of tissue scaffolds that geometrically mimic native tissues
  • Culturing and analysis of in-vitro tissue scaffolds