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Building complex life through self-organization: from organ to organism

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ORCHESTRATE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Minderbroedersberg 4-6
postcode: 6200 MD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 2˙655˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙655˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT MAASTRICHT NL (MAASTRICHT) coordinator 2˙655˙000.00


 Project objective

A major challenge in regenerative medicine is to create phenotypic functioning tissues by controlling cell behaviour. We particularly lack the ability to form complex tissues composed of multiple cell types and with three-dimensional architecture, which are defining features of most tissues. We know that cells are conferred with the ability to choreograph their own development through self-organization. I hypothesize that if we actively promote this intrinsic capacity with new cell culture platforms, we can orchestrate self-organization to make complex tissues, organs, and even organisms with a high degree of reproducibility and in large numbers. This proposal begins with the design and development of new cell culture platforms which will be used to test my hypothesis. Building upon our proprietary microfabrication and -fluidic technology, we will create advanced platforms that will control how cells aggregate and enable the application of biomolecules with spatial and temporal resolution to orchestrate self-organization. This technology will be transferred into three projects of increasing complexity and ambition: making in vitro models of pancreatic islets, the pituitary gland, and a mouse blastocyst. For each, we need to find the right conditions to enrich for desired phenotypes and functions, which means that we need quantitative read-outs. We will use state-of-the-art biological methods, including RNA-sequencing, to give us a holistic view of transcript expression and pathway activation, and in situ sequencing to allow us to pinpoint the expression of important phenotypic markers at a single cell level.

The anticipated outcomes of this proposal are three-fold: first, we will develop a new generation of cell culture platforms with integrated microfluidics; second, we will uncover new knowledge about how to orchestrate self-organization; and third, we will make in vitro models of pancreatic islets, pituitary glands, and mouse blastocysts.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 H. W. Ooi, S. Hafeez, C. A. van Blitterswijk, L. Moroni, M. B. Baker
Hydrogels that listen to cells: a review of cell-responsive strategies in biomaterial design for tissue regeneration
published pages: 1020-1040, ISSN: 2051-6347, DOI: 10.1039/c7mh00373k
Mater. Horiz. 4/6 2019-06-13
2018 Mireille M.J.P.E. Sthijns, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Vanessa L.S. LaPointe
Redox regulation in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering: The paradox of oxygen
published pages: , ISSN: 1932-6254, DOI: 10.1002/term.2730
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 2019-04-18

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The information about "ORCHESTRATE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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