2018 Travel Reports

TERMIS World Congress 2018 – by Kyle Burgess

Every three years, the world congress aims to bring together researchers, and thus expertise, from all three chapters of the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine international society (TERMIS): European, Americas and Asian-Pacific. This year, TERMIS held its 5th World Congress in Kyoto, Japan. The theme for the conference was Integration of Industry, Government, and Academia for Regenerative Medicine’; with a view to cover the innovation, legal regulation, and commercialization of new technologies in regenerative medicine. The conference was subdivided into 7 parallel oral sessions which ran over 3 days, with a separate poster session on each day. Such a large-scale event enabled individual researchers to tailor the conference to their individual research interests, giving everybody a personalised experience.

In general, the conference focussed heavily on the application of biomaterials for three-dimensional (3D) cell culture and subsequent tissue engraftment; with many talks highlighting the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs) technology as a means to create autologous cell therapies. This was particularly apt considering that iPSC technology originated from Kyoto following Yamanaka’s earlier work in 2006. In fact, the focus of my research is on the use of self-assembling peptide hydrogels for 3D iPSC culture and differentiation, with a view for applications in cardiac tissue engineering. Importantly, the size of the conference made it easy to find talks on both stem cell technology and cardiac tissue engineering, with a particular favourite of mine being the ‘Trials for cardiac regeneration with human iPS cell-derived 3D cardiac tissue’ by Jun K. Yamashita (Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Japan).

TERMIS World Congress 2018 By Camelia Muresan

The 5th TERMIS Word Congress took place in the beautiful city of Kyoto, Japan from 4th to 7th of September 2018. The Congress presented the recent advances in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The theme of the conference was “Integration of Industry, Government, and Academia for Regenerative Medicine”. It focused on the importance of bringing Academia, Industry and the Government together to bring the research from the lab bench to the patients.

I really enjoyed the variety of sessions approaching themes like tissue interactions of biomaterials and stem cells/tissue regeneration, clay materials for hard and soft tissue engineering, neural tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, bio-3D printing and their in vivo applications, ES and iPS cells, tumour microenvironments, cardiovascular regenerative therapies, injectable scaffolds, cell sheet therapy and mechanobiology and force sensing in regenerative medicine. I have learned many new things, and I have been inspired by the work done by other key research players in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It was encouraging to see the clinical applications from the lab bench to patients. This is something that motivates me to continue doing research.  Another session that caught my attention was the SYIS Career Panel. It was great to hear opinions about career paths from people who work in Academia or Start-up companies and also from the chief editor of Nature. It offered precious tools to confidently shape my future career.

There were more than 2000 people present at TERMIS-WC from all over the world. It was a perfect time for networking and having productive discussions about the latest in my field of research. During the conference, I also had the chance to present my results about collective cellular mechanosensing, extracellular matrix tethering and how far cells can mechanosense. I created and presented a poster which helped the scientific community visualise these discoveries.

Overall TERMIS was a great conference, and I am very grateful to TCES for giving me the opportunity to attend this high-quality world congress.

TERMIS World Congress 2018, Kyoto – Mathew Hollingworth

The 5th TERMIS world congress held in Japan 2018 focused on the theme of “Integration of Industry, Government, and Academia for Regenerative Medicine”, providing an exciting opportunity for discussion of critical developments in the field towards the realisation of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering.

Plenary lectures from recognised leaders in the TERM field disseminated exciting research progress whilst also considering the translation of this science from academia into healthcare settings. These included the therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles (Dr. Sai-Kiang Lim),and the use of brain organoids to study development of brain tissue (Dr. Juergen Knoblich) which were particularly interesting.

Symposia covered a broad variety of topics relevant to the field including cell manufacturing, biofabrication advances as well as reconstitution of the cell niche through to the application of robotic engineering in regenerative medicine. A particular highlight was the ‘Mechanobiology and Force Sensing in Regenerative Medicine’ symposium session, which was a highly insightful discussion into a topic that is of great interest to me and relevant to my research area.

Poster sessions each day were very productive, prompting much discussion of mine and others’ work with delegates from many different research groups worldwide.  SYIS sessions provided a platform for early career researchers to present and discuss their work, whilst luncheon seminars promoted discussion of academic publishing and interaction with suppliers.

Based in Kyoto, the conference welcomed delegates to experience local culture at the opening ceremony as well as the gala event at the Kiyomizu-dera temple. This conference allowed me to reconnect with researchers I have met previously and to meet many delegates from all corners of the globe, whose research and perspectives have allowed me to develop further my own scientific ideas. Furthermore this conference has introduced me to potential collaborators and will benefit my research career in the future.

I am grateful to TCES for their contribution towards my attendance of this exceptional meeting!

TERMIS World Congress 2018 (Kyoto, Japan) – Mahetab H. Amer

The TERMIS World Congress Meeting was held at Kyoto International Conference Centre in Kyoto, Japan from September 4th-7th 2018. This meeting takes place every three years, bringing together researchers and clinicians from academia and industry to discuss the latest developments in the field. It is regarded as the premier event for the dissemination of cutting-edge research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This conference is the official World Congress of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society meeting, whose purpose is worldwide advancement of the science of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

The conference was ideal in showcasing the breadth of innovative research being conducted globally on regenerative medicine. It was exciting to hear about the latest cutting-edge research being carried out in the field. Presentations and posters covered a wide range of research areas within the field, including fundamental biology of stem cells and biomaterials to clinical applications and commercialisation. Some of the most interesting talks were those on regenerative rehabilitation by Prof Dietmar Hutmacher and bioengineered stem cell niches by Prof Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic. It was also wonderful to have the chance to participate in SYIS workshops and seminars targeted at students and young investigators, such as the “Meet the Mentor” lunch event and the “SYIS career panel”.

My oral presentation was part of the ‘Cell Stimulation and Modulation’ session on the final day of the conference, where I presented some of my work on high throughput screening of polymers for discovery of novel bio-instructive materials for mesenchymal stem cell expansion and directed differentiation. My presentation raised interest amongst the audience, with the questions and suggestions highlighting the diverse potential directions of the work.

In summary, attending the TERMIS World Congress has been a valuable opportunity to present my research findings, gain a better understanding of the breadth and potential of regenerative medicine research worldwide and to network with other researchers, with whom I hope to initiate future collaborations. Finally, I would like to thank TCES for selecting me as a recipient of the travel bursary.

European Society for Biomaterials, 2018 by Biranche Tandon

The 29th annual meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials took place in Maastricht, the Netherlands on September 9-13, 2018. Conference sessions took place in MECC, Maastricht. The theme of the conference was “Materials for life” and it was aimed at researchers working in the challenging field of biomaterials for providing effective affordable biomaterials-based methods to repair and regenerate damaged and diseased tissues and organs.

The conference was very well spread over three days with sessions with topics varying from biomaterials science, electrospinning, cell surface interaction, additive manufacturing, hydrogels amongst many more interesting and upcoming topics in the field. Researchers from around the world shared ideas through poster and oral presentations. I presented a poster on the effect of piezoelectric fibres and films on cellular response of mouse osteoblast cells. The variety of topics covered by the conference ensured broadening of my knowledge base in the area and helped me gain useful information about research in this field. This conference also introduced me to various senior researchers in the field. There were various social events organised which proved to be a great opportunity to meet and network with students/researchers with similar interests.

The conference had various special symposia sessions which focussed on different issues highlighting the importance of research in the respective field. The keynote and plenary speakers of the conference were some of the best researchers in the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering which again helped me understand the field better and introduced me to new research areas. I express my thanks to TCES for providing me with travel bursary to attend ESB 2018.

TERMIS World Congress Travel Bursary Report – September 2018 – by Lim

The 2018 TERMIS World Congress was held at the Kyoto International Conference Center in Japan from September 4 to 7, 2018 and was organized by Prof Yasuhiko Tabata and Prof Yoshiki Sawa. Set against a backdrop of stunning lakes, tranquil bonsai gardens, magnificent temples, historic Japanese Imperial castles and metropolitan city, the conference was a perfect melting pot for science, industry and culture.

Undeterred by the torrential typhoon which swept the Kyoto Prefecture, Day 1 of the TERMIS World Congress went on without a hitch. TERMEX was an opportunity to explore updates on current developments in industry and government regulations that have significantly impacted and in some ways and accelerated the progress of tissue engineering in recent years.

Day 2 of the conference kicked off with several fascinating Presidential Lectures by Prof Rui Reis, President of TERMIS Global and Prof Yoshiki Sawa, who organized the conference. This was followed by numerous luncheon seminars, symposiums and poster presentations. I got the opportunity to present my poster and received some thoughtful feedback from other researchers in the field and exchanged some ideas for potential future collaboration.

On the next day, the conference started of with an early-morning symposium, followed by a series of plenary lectures and seminars. I found the symposium on translation of tissue engineering techniques using biomaterials of particular interest and talks on bio-printing were also very insightful. The day ended with a grand Gala Night at the spectacular Kiyomizu-dera temple with breath-taking views overlooking the shimmering night lights of Kyoto city.

I found the sessions on how to write an impactful paper and the SYIS (Student and Young Investigator Society) session very useful and relevant to my PhD as it gave me the opportunity to enhance my writing skills and discuss career development with various mentor. Overall, I learnt a lot from this conference not just about my field of research, but also developments in other areas in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The conference covered a breadth of topics and prompted me to think outside the box with regards to potential projects and collaboration with other groups as well.

2018 TERMIS World Congress, Kyoto, Japan – Michael Glinka
The biggest and most important Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine World Congress took place in Kyoto, Japan from 4th to 7th of September 2018. The conference brought more than 2000 scientists from 50 different countries.
Each day of the conference was split into several sessions, which encapsulated different fields of regenerative medicine, each tackling different issues that need to be addressed in the field of TERM. This allowed us, the attendees, to learn more about the different aspects that need to be considered in our research and of our shortcomings. Multiple plenary lectures led by the heads of the Regenerative Medicine field gave an incredible summary of where we are now and where we should be heading in the next several years.
I had the great opportunity to present my work, under the title “Enhancing Bone Repair by Incorporation of Innovative Nanoparticles Containing Osteogenic Factors in Gelatin Methacryloyl Hydrogel Scaffolds”, on gelatin methacryloyl scaffolds laced with human bone marrow stromal cells and poly-lactic-co-glycolic nanoparticles containing osteogenic factors such as vitamin C and vitamin D3 in form of a poster during the poster session, which also gave me a chance to talk with many people about my work and their work.
In summary the conference proved to be an incredible experience given the breadth of science presented and the opportunity to network – and of course the location – thanks to the Travel Award from TCES, I had the chance to visit Kyoto, the oldest capital city in Japan and experience the architecture, beauty and temples of Kyoto.

26th EORS Annual Meeting (2018), Galway, Ireland – Jordan R. J. Schofield, UK

The 26th EORS Annual Meeting was held in Galway (Ireland) between the 25th and 28th of September 2018. As a European consortium the EORS meeting has allowed for the discussion of topics enveloping the challenges and opportunities of orthopaedics and musculoskeletal trauma, with over 120 world renowned individuals show casing their work. This is not to mention the numerous exhibitors and corporate partners displaying state of the art developments, such as: The Electrospinning Company with a symposium on the ‘Electrospinning applications in orthopaedic procedures’ (Marco Thio, UK) and TA Instruments displaying dynamic mechanical testing devices.

Galway was an excellent location not only because of its world-class education bit because of its friendly inhabitants, spectacular countryside and scenic Corrib river. As our venue, the Galmont Hotel was a grand and accommodating venue, alongside the TRIBETON bar, a great opportunity to network.

Being able to listen to sessions from my field of research was eye opening and inspiring, from the PEMF based modulation of an inflammatory environment (Adriana Vinhas, PT) to the Mechanisms of tendon generation, degeneration and regeneration (Denitsa Docheva, DE). Other sessions from different fields of research really helped broaden my knowledge on the capabilities of Regenerative Medicine, with such presentations as: cartilage as a biomaterial for tissue engineering (Sylvia Nümberger, AT).

The chance to watch and meet with PhD students from the UK and Europe was incredibly humbling and to be a part of this as an MSc graduate, even more so; being incredibly grateful to have research I contributed too, being present by my supervisor Dr Federica F. Masieri. This Research: ‘Pulsed electromagnetic fields modulate metabolic activity, myokine release and differentiation into myotubes of myoblasts grown in vitro’ holds an outlook on the future exploration of PEMFs biological interactions and impact on muscle regeneration.

All together the 26th EORS Annual Meeting was an amazing event exploring world-leading musculoskeletal research, held in a breath-taking environment with great networking opportunities for young researchers, I would defiantly recommend this symposium. I would like to acknowledge IGEAs biophysical support in my research and to the University Of Suffolk’s Biotechnology Unit. In addition, I am most gratefully to the TCES for being jointly awarded with their travel bursary, contributing to my travel expenses and making this experience possible. Thank You.

26th European Orthopaedic Research Society annual meeting – Jamie Ballisat UK

On the 25th – 28th September 2018 the 26th European Orthopaedic Research Society meeting was held in Galway, Ireland. This proved to be an ideal location, offering a great host location at The Galmont Hotel, with many suitable local venues for networking. Research conducted by myself and fellow MSc student Jordan Schofield, under the supervision of Dr Federica Masieri, was presented at the conference. This great opportunity for success was made possible by TCES and their generous travel bursary award.

Our research concerned the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) for the use of optimising myogenesis in an in vitro model of muscle damage, analysing cell metabolic activity, cytokine profiles and myotube formation. Podium presentation status was granted by EORS, a great achievement at such a prestigious international conference. I am truly thankful for this unique opportunity that TCES supported, enabling me to gain invaluable experience so early in my career.

Upon registration at the conference, all staff and members were very welcoming and hospitable. A grand dining session was hosted, inclusive of the attendance fee, providing dinner and drinks.

On the second day of the conference I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Ruggero Cadossi on the biologically beneficial effects of PEMFs and their interaction with adenosine receptors, shedding light on the currently limited known mechanism of action behind PEMFs. This was supplemented by the second chair of the session Roy Aaron, who led discussion and offered ideas for consideration throughout the presentation session. Other presentations focused mainly on the effects of PEMFs on tendon cells and osteoarthritis, with engaging young investigators, such as Jennifer Racine and Erik Waldorff, establishing their research in the field. It was great to hear from others in industry, such as Marco Thio from The Electrospinning Company with a symposium on the applications of electrospinning in orthopaedic procedures.

Later that evening, a casual ‘meet the mentor’ session was held at a local pub offering free food and drinks, providing the opportunity to engage with respectable scientists in a more relaxed environment.

The third day of the conference saw presentations regarding a range of topics, including cartilage, tendon, biomaterials, biomechanics and clinical implications of research. One of the sessions on cartilage was very insightful, discussing scaffold solutions and cell therapies for cartilage repair, with a particularly interesting presentation by Evelyn Patricia Murphy on talar osteochondral lesions treated with matrix associated stem cell transplantation in a 5-year follow up. Furthermore, with a background in sports science and biomechanics, I was excited to see biomechanics focused sessions with presentations regarding advanced biomechanical testing and three-dimensional kinematics focusing on models of orthopaedic damage and repair. Opportunity to network was then later provided at an informal gathering at the Tribeton bar.

The final day of the conference saw an awards ceremony hosted, acknowledging outstanding progress and contribution within the field. This was a pleasant end to my first experience of attending a conference.

Once again, I would like to thank TCES for their support and contribution.

TERMIS World Congress 2018 by Joana Silva

The triennial TERMIS World Congress was held this year in Kyoto from September 4th to 7th and gathered more than 2000 international researchers to discuss the integration of industry, government and academia to promote advances in the Regenerative Medicine field.

The program comprised several parallel sessions with a diverse and broad choice of topics, applied to all branches of biology, including 3D bioprinting, biomaterials for tailoring stem cell fate, interactions between biomaterial and cells, scaffold-free techniques for 3D cell culture and extracellular vesicles for tissue regeneration.

Highlights of this conference were Dr Jürgen Knoblich’s plenary lecture on the use of organoids for studying cerebral development and disease progression and organs-on-chip technology and its applications by Prof Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic. Regarding symposia talks, in my opinion, the most stimulating sessions were the advances on cell encapsulation to minimise necrotic centres in 3D cell culture, as well as, new techniques for live imaging using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy which allows to quantitatively measure biomarkers in organoids in a minimally invasive fashion.

Moreover, I had the invaluable opportunity to present my work entitled “Developing a small scale fluidised bed bioreactor for long-term culture of tissue-like structures for in vitro modelling” at the poster session of the second day. These sessions were very important for getting feedback from other researchers but also for networking and gaining detailed insight of projects outside my research area.

In summary, this conference was an enriching experience, both personally and professionally, where I got to deepen my knowledge of the field and better understand the future direction of Tissue Engineering while trying to successfully accomplish its aim of providing revolutionary therapies. Therefore, I would like to thank TCES for supporting my attendance at this event.

Thanks to the TCES and other sponsorships I have attended the 29th European Conference on Biomaterials, hosted by the European Society for Biomaterials, in Maastricht, Netherlands, from 9th to 13th September 2018.

I had an amazing time reconnecting with old and meeting new friends especially during the Young Scientists Forum (YSF) Night Out. The café with a terrace overlooking the river was closed for the event. Water was shimmering under the last sun rays and the colour of the sky matched the autumn leaves warmly embracing us in gold and red. Holding tasty Dutch beers and smelling the signature barbeque in peanut butter sauce it was easy to discuss novel ideas and share experiences whilst the jazz band was playing softly in the background.

During the day, absorbing conference presentations helped me learn more about the varieties of biomaterials and their use around Europe as well as in US, Japan, China and India. Being in the final stages of my PhD, learning about the newest discoveries and the common challenges helped me identify inspiring, potential career options. I am grateful for the opportunity to present my work on the utility of bone and spinal cord derived hydrogels for spinal cord injury and the additional networking opportunities it provided. It was encouraging to realise that other scientists had similar views on the challenges in the field and the tactics they have selflessly shared helped shape the story of the paper I am currently writing. Approaching speakers and exhibitors in the relaxing environment over lunch will be beneficial for my future career. I am most grateful for the experience of co-chairing one of the conference sessions, ”Biomaterials for engineering and regeneration inspired by nature” and having to interact with the speakers and the audience and come up with interesting questions on the spot.

This conference helped me grow personally and professionally whilst having a great time and enjoying the Netherlands.

SES-2018- 55th annual technical meeting. October 10-12, 2018 Madrid, Spain by Céline Kayal 

I am a final year PhD student and I had the opportunity to present an oral presentation at the Society of Engineering Sciences, international conference, in the ‘Biomechanics and mechanobiology of cells and tissues’ seminar. This international conference provided an interdisciplinary forum and so attracted a truly diverse and multidisciplinary mix of experts.

The presentations in the ‘Biomechanics and mechanobiology of cells and tissues’ session chaired by Prof Marino Arroyo as well as the ‘Mechanics of Brain’ session chaired by Prof Antoine Jérusalem, were extremely relevant to strengthen my knowledge in mechanobiology, get in touch with the mechanobiology community and build an international network.

Overall, I think the conference was a really enjoyable meeting and has highlighted significant work in mechanics of cells and tissue. My presentation has been well received and I benefitted significantly from the scientific expertise and feedbacks. I also made contact with potential collaborators. Finally, I am very grateful for the funding provided by TCES to help me attend this conference.