Soft Tissue Engineering & Medicine (STEAM)

Research lines

This multi-disciplinary groups consists of a in vitro model unit (Bart Spee), a whole tissue engineering part (Kerstin Schneeberger), and a clinical and translational group (Louis Penning).  The organization allows integration of pipet-2-bed and a strong bridge between basis sciences and medicine and veterinary medicine.


The interaction of a cell with its (micro)environment determines its function. Therefore, the group  aims to recapitulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in order to differentiate organ specific stem cells into functionally differentiated cells. We then combine those cells with state-of-art technology such as 3D bioprinting and hollow fibre technology to   create functional tissue structures. These tissues can be used in (multi-organ) ADMET (administration-deposition-metabolism-excretion-toxicology) screens, thereby reducing experimental animal usage. Furthermore, bioengineered tissues can be transplanted in relevant (large) animal models, including clinical cases available at the faculty of veterinary medicine. The position both at the RMCU and at the faculty of veterinary medicine guarantees a fast bench-2-bed translation and allows for rapid implementation of potentially useful novel technology into clinical practice.



Bruce van Dijk




Additional info
Bart SpeeUHD  

Kerstin Schneeberger


Louis C. Penning





Schneeberger et al. Hepatology 2020, 72, 257-270 (upscaling of organoid cultures)

Sakai et al, 2019, JVIM, 33, 151-157 (miRNAs in liver diseases)

Chen et al 2018, Biofabrication, 2018, 10, 034103 (cholangiocytes on hollow fibre membranes)
Kruitwagen et al, Stem Cell reports 2017, 8, 822-830 (first feline liver organoids as NASH model)
Malagola et al, Stem Cell Development, 2016, 25, 139-150 (canine MSC)
Nantasanti et al, 2015, Stem Cell Reports, 5, 895-097 (canine liver organoids and gene correction for copper storage)
Bustin et al, BMC Mol Biol, 2010, 11, 74 (MIQE-precise guidelines)


Contact for internships

Principal investigators