NCC-BEITNetherlands Convergence Center for bio-inspired engineering innovations and technology

Contactgegevens: Richard Goossens
Mekelweg 5, 2628 CD Delft
Delft University of Technology & Erasmus UMC

NCC-BEIT is the Netherlands Convergence Center for Bio-inspired Engineering Innovations and Technology. NCC-BEIT is a combined collaboration institute, research infrastructure, testbed and innovation hub for bio-medical technology innovation with as key focus to facilitate and exploit science to advance human health. NCC-BEIT offers five “Enabling Workshops”, i.e. clusters of infrastructure on Advanced Imaging and Theranostics; Robotics and Smart Surgery; Microfabrication; Material Science, Bioprinting and Organoids; and Computational Life Science. This will enable several research disciplines to converge in order to accelerate fundamental science and technology-based transformative breakthroughs in health and healthcare. To profit optimally from the research infrastructure, “Collaboratories” are created where research fellows, staff from different disciplinary backgrounds, students, cooperating members and other relevant stakeholders co-locate to work on common high value projects.

NCC-BEIT provides five Lab ‘Workshops’: clusters of infrastructure, equipment and expertise that can be utilized to accelerate technology-based biomedical breakthroughs. Researchers and collaborators can make use of these infrastructures in convergent and flexible “Collaboratories” aimed at crossing boundaries between disciplines.

The infrastructures:

1. Advanced Imaging and Theranostics (AIT) Workshop: A Workshop with high-end equipment for developing innovative biomedical imaging techniques and theranostics. New methods to non-invasively observe and record biologically important structures and functional changes are constantly being developed from atomic level resolution maps of molecules to whole body 3D MRI, photon counting CT, integrated Nuclear/Optical/CT, GyrofreeSPECT and bioelectricity mapping. The dedicated AIT-Workshop brings the required conceptual elements together (physics of image acquisition, mathematics of image reconstruction, chemistry of contrast agents, interaction with tissues, computer science of signal processing and analysis). The Workshop includes new equipment (hot cell, NMR and confocal microscope) to equip (radio)chemical and biological facilities for developing tracers and (radio)pharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and therapy (theranostics).

2. Robotics and Smart Surgery (RSS) Workshop: Robotic manipulation has countless applications in bio-medical research and medical care. Current applications range from robot assisted surgery to on-line control of X-ray crystallography experiments performed at remote cyclotron beam lines. Many other advances await development of appropriate robotic manipulation tools. The Workshop provides expertise and engineering infrastructure to create and program robots for a wide variety of experimental goals from the scale of molecules to cells (development iPS models) to people (moving patients around treatment centers).

3. Microfabrication (Mfab) Workshop: Advancing our understanding of biological systems from molecules to people depends on our ability to accurately intervene with instruments and measurement devices. For this we need to create devices and components on the micro and nanoscale, for example probes and instruments used in surgery, instruments for manipulating cells, microfluidic devices for organ(oid)-on-a-chip. Often the specifications are unique to an experiment requiring dedicated fabrication facilities. The Workshop provides design, engineering and fabrication of microscale devices and components for advanced medical and biological experiments.

4. Material Science, Bioprinting and Organoids (MSBpO) Workshop: Biological systems consist of fascinating and unique materials. Interfacing with biological systems requires equally unique materials. To augment human bodily functions we need to mimic the material properties of tissues and organs. The Workshop provides material science expertise, design and production facilities for prototype and experimental applications, including e.g. optimize material to facilitate stem cell differentiation and organoid development (in terms of attachment, stiffness, biological and biochemical properties), create material to repair specific tissues and organs, create materials for medical procedures requiring multiple functionalities(adhesion /flexibility/strength), including 3D (bio)printing as printing for regenerative medicine.

5. Computational Life Science (CLS) Workshop: Mathematically modelling and simulating processes in life at all levels is a crucial step to get deeper understanding of biological processes that are inherently complex, i.e. stochastic and with many differ components which are often not well characterized. This convergence theme brings together life science researchers, mathematicians, computer scientists to evolve current mathematical concepts as well as solvers, and high performance computational solutions, to match the increasing complexity and size of the required computational models.

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