Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration

ESR project


Title of Project

Development of smart biomaterials for incorporation in biofabrication processes

We offered

A 4-year PhD student position in the interdisciplinary area of biomaterials, biofabrication and regenerative medicine. Your project will focus on the generation of advanced biomaterials using 3D-(bio)printing technologies. This position is a joint position hosted by Regenerative Medicine Utrecht ( in a close collaboration between the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Utrecht University and the Department of Orthopaedics at the UMC Utrecht.


The core activity of the Pharmaceutics groups ( is the design and pre-clinical testing of tailor-made drug delivery systems for site-specific, time- and/or rate-controlled delivery of small molecular weight drugs, therapeutic proteins, and nucleic acids (including DNA and siRNA). The major strength of the department is the multidisciplinary nature. As such it can cover the development of biomaterials and drug delivery systems from the design and synthesis up to preclinical testing. It has a good infrastructure for synthesis and characterization of biomaterials and nanoparticles in addition to a dedicated cell culture facility. The dept. Pharmaceutics is a member of the faculty of Science, but is also part of the Utrecht Life Science Cluster with the aim to advance therapies into the clinic.

The Department of Orthopaedics at the UMC Utrecht is a global leader in the development of novel regenerative technologies, such as 3D printing, the application of biomaterials and controlled release systems, and novel imaging modalities. Within this theme, we focus on several areas of the musculoskeletal system including regeneration of cartilaginous tissues and joint and tissue homeostasis. The department of Orthopaedics initiated the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility, a leading European knowledge center that aims at expediting emerging biofabrication technologies in areas of regenerative medicine, 3D in vitro cell culture models and therapeutic treatments.


Due to the aging population, the number of joint replacement surgeries is expected to increase within the next 10 years by about 30%. The metal joint prosthesis is a successful treatment, however, only have a limited life span requiring costly revision surgery. This increasing societal and economical burden asks for an alternative for these metal implants. You perform research in the area of biofabrication and skeletal regeneration aiming at the development of personalized 3D-printed implants for joint regeneration. As a PhD student, you will work at the Utrecht Regenerative Medicine Center in a multidisciplinary team focusing on integrating knowledge of biomaterials chemistry, tissue engineering of cartilage and bone with (bio)fabrication possibilities. You are responsible for the synthesis of functional polymers for preparation of smart biomaterials. Various biofabrication technologies will be used to prepare constructs that are able to not only withstand the challenging mechanical load in articular cartilage but also guide tissue regeneration.   

Contact person & more information

Prof. Jos Malda, UMC Utrecht


This project is part of RESCUE, a multidisciplinary, intersectoral and interdisciplinary PhD training programme in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells organised by UMC Utrecht (coordinator) and Utrecht University. RESCUE is partly funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND scheme. There are specific requirements with regards to English language and mobility for candidates who would like to take part in this programme. More information