Girls' Day 2024 - Healing diseases using 3D-bioprinting and tissues-in-a-dish!

April 26, 2024

On the 25th of April we had the honour of introducing 9 bright young female pupils to the 3R-BioMedicUS research topics through the workshop “Curing diseases - 3D printing and organs-in-a-dish!”, part of the Girls’ Day 2024 initiative at the University of Stuttgart.

 The school pupils had a chance to learn about 3D-bioprinting from PhD students Kai Hirzel and Theresa Kühn in the team of Michael Heymann from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomolecular Systems
(IBBS). They later got to use 3D-printing pens to reconstruct the structure of a piece of lung tissue in large scale.

3D-printing structures similar to lung tissue

In addition, André Tomalka from the Tobias Siebert lab at the Institute of Sport and Movement Science (INSPO) demonstrated the use of isolated muscle fibres to investigate their responses to different stimuli and allow for the creation of computational models. 

Moreover, Annika Zanker from the Cattaneo lab at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BMT) was teaching the pupils about their “green vessel” circulatory system models, whereby plant material is processed such that it can accurately represent human blood vessels for the testing of new implant technologies.

Last but not least, they learned how tumor tissues can be cultured and used as platforms for drug testing from PhD students Stella Asmanidou and Ann-Kathrin Löffler in the the teams of Monilola Olayioye and Roland Kontermann at the Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology (IZI). They also had the opportunity to process actual samples by staining them to make them visible via microscopy. To conclude the entertaining program, Andrew Clark from IZI introduced them to basic principles of microscopy through a fun exercise of assembling simple DIY microscopes.

It was not only an opportunity to learn a lot, but also a fun way to encourage young female pupils to pursue careers on STEM topics!

Staining of tissue in preparation for microscopy
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