Vitor Espírito Santo, Portugal finalist

Vítor Espírito Santo has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (2007) from the University of Minho. His Master’s thesis was entitled ‘Innovative carrageenan-based hydrogels for the delivery of growth factors in bone issue engineering applications’, and was supervised by professors from the 3B’s research group.

Since January 2008, he has been studying at the 3B’s research group for his PhD entitled ‘Design of approaches for the development of tissue engineered periosteum tissue for bone and cartilage regeneration strategies’. His research work has resulted in published journal papers, six oral communications and poster presentations at national and international conferences.


Different approaches based on natural polymers for bone and cartilage tissue regeneration

Tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field, integrating the principles of engineering with those of life sciences, aimed at reaching the repair or replacement of a damaged tissue or organ. Interesting approaches such as those based on architectures providing three-dimensional cell culture on polymeric matrices have been developed.

New advances are required to develop enhanced strategies that can be used in clinical applications, particularly in bone and cartilage regeneration. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to develop a novel structure composed of a natural polymer-based hydrogel scaffold with encapsulated adipose derived stem cells and growth factor loaded nanoparticles, allowing for cell proliferation and differentiation towards osteogenic and chondrogenic lineage, aimed at the controlled release of the encapsulated bioactive agents.

The autologous nature of the stem cells and growth factors (both collected from the patient) represents an advantage towards the regeneration of the damaged tissue.


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