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Accardo Lab

Light-assisted manufacturing of Multi-scale 3D cellular microenvironments



Using light to structure biomaterials for cell culture applications

We develop versatile multi-scale (nano-micro-meso) fabrication paradigms to address a range of open questions in cell biology.

We are interested in the design and fabrication of 3D architectures by employing light-assisted additive manufacturing techniques (such as two-photon lithography and stereolithography).

We plan to exploit these 3D engineered microenvironments for studying the mechanobiology, migration and differentiation mechanisms of cells as well as of spheroids/organoids.

We dream to use these platforms for prospective applications in the field of in-vitro 3D models (e.g. for neurodegenerative diseases, cancer) and tissue engineering (e.g. for neural or bone scaffolds).


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June 1, 2019

I officially joined TU Delft within the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor!

Excited to start this challenging adventure and set up my new lab!


September 9, 2019

Beatriz Costa, visiting Master Student from University of Minho (Portugal), is the first member of my team!
She will work on 3D fabrication and mechanical characterization of polymeric/hydrogel scaffolds.

Welcome Beatriz!


September 16, 2019

Keynote Lecture entitled "To scaffold or not to scaffold: pros and cons in the realization of biomimetic neuronal microenvironments" at the Symposium "Bioinspired and Biointegrated Materials as New Frontiers Nanomaterial" that I am honored to chair during the  2019   E-MRS Fall Meeting in Warsaw.


October 7, 2019

Excited to have joined the Brain-on-chip group, part of the human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT) consortium.


November 14, 2019

The Special Issue "3D Microfabrication Unleashed: Emerging Applications and New Manufacturing Concepts" in Micromachines Journal is open for submissions!

December 10, 2019

Giving a talk in Utrecht on "Multi-scale engineered cell microenvironments by laser-assisted additive manufacturing" at the International MicroNanoConference 2019.


December 13, 2019

The first paper of my professorship at TU Delft is out: "Engineered 3D Polymer and Hydrogel Microenvironments for Cell Culture Applications". (Open Access Review article) 

Also, the first PhD position in my group on "Light-assisted 3D manufacturing of neuronal microenvironments" is now open for applications. (Deadline 15/1/2020)


December 20, 2019

Dian Veldkamp, PME Master Student, joined our team!

She will develop a graduation project on 3D fabrication and 3D imaging of engineered micro-environments for guiding the fate of neural stem cells.

Welcome Dian!


January 23, 2020

I am very honored to be the recipient of the 1st Place grant of the TU Delft Health Initiative Pilot Projects call. Within this project, involving a strong synergy between TU Delft and the Holland Proton Therapy Center, we will start to explore the development of 3D Onco-Scaffolds as a benchmark tool for Proton Radiobiology.


February 10, 2020

Excited and honored to have been awarded a Cohesion Grant of 200 k€ from Sectorplan funding, together with Dr. Mohammad J. Mirzaali! This project will allow us to develop novel nanostructured 3D scaffolds by combining advanced mechanical engineering designs and light-assisted 3D micro-manufacturing. The beginning of a promising "cohesion" between the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) and the Department of BioMechanical Engineering (BME) at TU Delft.

Please have a look at the available PhD position.


February 14, 2020

First oral presentation of our Visiting MSc Student Beatriz Costa at the hDMT (human Organ and Disease Model Technologies) international meeting! Good job Beatriz!


March 24, 2020

Brian Roos, PME Master Student, joined our team!

He will develop a graduation project on 3D microglia-on-chip in collaboration with the Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC).

Welcome Brian!

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April 1, 2020

Welcome Ahmed Sharaf, freshly appointed PhD student in my group!

His project will be focused on Light-assisted 3D manufacturing of neuronal microenvironments.


May 29, 2020

Congratulations to Saleh Aghajani, PME-MNE section PhD student that I am co-supervising, for his first author's paper entitled "Aerosol Direct Writing and Thermal Tuning of Copper Nanoparticle Patterns as Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensors" just appeared in ACS Applied Nano Materials!


July 27, 2020

Qais Akolawala, PME Master Student, joined our team!

He will develop a graduation project on 3D microenvironments for glioblastoma proton radiobiology studies in collaboration with LUMC and the HollandPTC.

Welcome Qais!


August 26, 2020

Excited to chair with Dr. Paul Wieringa a symposium on "Strategies for the realization of biomimetic neuronal microenvironments" at the 6th World Congress of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS2021) taking place in Maastricht next year!


September 18, 2020

The chapter Nanoscaffolds for Neural Regenerative Medicine, part of the book Neural Regenerative Nanomedicine has been published! A nice collaboration with expert colleagues in the field!


October 8, 2020

Nastaran Barin, PME Master Student, joined our team!

She will develop a graduation project on 3D engineered tumoral microenvironments for the study of primary and patient-derived glioblastoma cells in collaboration with ErasmusMC.

Welcome Nastaran!


November 1, 2020

Welcome Ebrahim Yarali, freshly appointed PhD student in my group in collaboration with the Department of Biomechanical Engineering!

His project will be focused on the development of novel nanostructured bio-mimetic meta-implants for bone tissue replacement.


May 6, 2021

Congrats Saleh Aghajani for his latest work on additive manufacturing of Au nanoparticle patterns featuring tunable photoluminescence and SERS behaviour.


June 14, 2021

New collaborative paper with Mohammad Mirzaali on Curvature Induced by Deflection in Thick Meta-Plates just appeared in Advanced Materials!


August 15, 2021


August 27, 2021

Congratulations to our freshly graduated (9/10) MSc student Qais Akolawala!


September 3, 2021

Thomas Michalica, PME Master Student, joined our team!
He will develop a graduation project on 2.5D Hybrid polymer/metal Neuron-On-Chip architectures by two-photon polymerization and multi-focal lithography in collaboration with Max Mastrangeli (EWI) and Jean Philippe Frimat (LUMC).


September 20, 2021

Chihao Kuo, PME Master Student, joined our team!
He will develop a graduation project on hybrid soft/stiff polymer-hydrogel scaffolds in collaboration with Eduardo Mendes (TNW).


September 28, 2021

Updated group picture on a very sunny day at TU Delft!


October 10, 2021

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October 26, 2021

The Italian regional television channel Canale 10 interviewed me for talking about my 3D microenvironment research at TU Delft


October 28, 2021

Congratulations to our freshly graduated (9/10) MSc student Nastaran Barin!


November 1, 2021

Welcome back to Qais Akolawala who joined the team as Junior Researcher!


November 11, 2021

Congratulations to our freshly graduated (7.5/10) MSc student Brian Roos!

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November 12, 2021

MNE Group picture at the Remastered museum in Rotterdam during our winter outing!

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November 17, 2021


December 1, 2021

Welcome back to Nastaran Barin who joined the team as PhD student, shared with ErasmusMC, and continuing her work on 3D engineered models of primary glioblastoma!


December 1, 2021

Welcome to Pieter van Altena who joined the team as PhD student working on 3D cell-instructive engineered stem cell models for neuropsychiatric disorders!

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February 7, 2022

Honored to be featured among the 5 talents of the Netherlands by the scientific popular magazine NewScientist.


February 17, 2022

My history and research appeared on the pages of the Italian national newspaper Libero.


February 25, 2022

Another press release about my research on the pages of the Italian popular scientic magazine Sanita' Informazione.


March 7, 2022

Congrats Saleh Aghajani for his latest work on nanoparticles high-resolution dry aerosol direct writing just published in Additive Manufacturing (IF 11)!


March 13, 2022

Great work by my former Erasmus+ Mobility Program MSc student, Beatriz Costa on bone marrow MSCs interaction with polymer and PEGDA microscaffolds published, in collaboration with INL and University of Minho, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (IF 9.2).


March 15, 2022

The launch of the Delft Young Academy took place in the beautiful Berlagezaal of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. A great event featuring insightful exchanges between the DYA board members, one of the initiators of the DYA (Behnam Taebi), the Rector Magnificus of the Technische Universiteit Delft Tim van der Hagen, members of two other Young Academies (Yarin Eski, Amsterdam Young Academy; Noel de Miranda, Young Academy Leiden) and the DYA community.

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March 31, 2022

Great performance by Nastaran today at ErasmusMC in occasion of the ACE TI-IT Symposium where she talked about her patient-derived 3D engineered glioblastoma model.


April 21, 2022


May 11, 2022

Our work on the Evaluation of Proton-Induced DNA Damage in 3D-Engineered Glioblastoma Microenvironments made it to the cover of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (IF 9.2)!

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May 25, 2022

Great talk from my PhD student Nastaran Barin at the NWOLife conference!


June 14, 2022

Congratulations to our freshly graduated (7/10) MSc student Dian Veldkamp!


June 20, 2022

Great job of my BEP group with their project on  a portable cell culture incubator!


June 29, 2022

Honored to be among the invited speakers of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) European Chapter Conference 2022 in Krakow!


June 29, 2022

Thank you HollandPTC for the nice interview and for your continued support!


July 7, 2022

Yesterday I was honored to host and moderate the Bioday2022 event at Technische Universiteit Delft. We had a great plenary lecture from Jaap den Toonder and several other talks as well as poster presentations from TU Delft bioengineering researchers (PIs, Postdocs, PhDs, MSc students).


July 8, 2022

What a wonderful outing with my whole group in the canals of Delft! Great synergy with these guys and ladies!


July 8, 2022

Very happy to serve as Guest Editor of the Special Issue "Engineered environments and organ-on-chip for directing stem cell behavior" which will be published in the Elsevier Stem Cell Research journal. Please consider submitting your work and share with other potentially interested authors!


July 22, 2022

New work just published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (IF 6.1)! We show how micro- and nanostructures fabricated by two-photon polymerization provide topographical and mechanical cues able to foster the expression of the ramified phenotype and a high number of primary branches per ramified cell in primary microglia derived from adult rhesus macaques.


July 28, 2022

Our work on 3D engineered glioblastoma microenvironments for proton radiotherapy highlighted by Nanoscribe!

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August 29, 2022

Himanshu Kadel, PME Master Student, joined our team!
He will develop a graduation project on electrically conductive 3D scaffolds.


September 23, 2022

It was a great MNE - Eurosensors 2022 Conference in Leuven. Plenty of fascinating talks and a chance to catch up with the whole community. A big applause to my researchers Ahmed Sharaf, Nastaran Barin and Qais Akolawala who rocked on stage and shared very nice moments also with other colleagues from the MNE section of TU Delft | Mechanical Engineering: Francesco La Malfa, PhD, Marcel Tichem and Urs Staufer! Ahmed also received the 1st prize for the best Micro-Nano graph competition 👏👏.


October 1, 2022

George Flamourakis joined our group as Post-doc!
He will work on the fabrication and super-resolution imaging of polymeric structures for the development of neuronal growth cones.

Welcome George!


October 19, 2022

Invited Keynote talk at the 2022 Nano-Micro-Lithography Symposium organized by Raith, Nanoscribe, GenISys and microresist Technology: The era of two-photon polymerized engineered microenvironments, a promising tool for cell mechanobiology and in-vitro disease/treatment modelling


November 1, 2022

What a great two-weeks visit at the Vilnius University Laser Research Center (VULRC) of Vilniaus universitetas / Vilnius University in Lithuania invited by Prof. Mangirdas Malinauskas to perform, together with my PhD student Pieter van Altena and our precious local technical support Jurga Jeršovaitė, some challenging multi-material two-photon polymerization experiments. Thank you Laserlab Europe for funding our research visit!


December 2, 2022

What a great visit at McMaster University! Thank you Jose Moran-Mirabal and Alex Adronov for the kind invitation to contribute to the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research seminar series and for the amazing hospitality! 


December 8, 2022

Our work on 3D engineered cell microenvironments for glioblastoma mechanobiology made it to the front cover of Small (IF 15.1)!!!
Kudos to all the collaborators and especially to my PhD student Nastaran Barin who, besides being a brilliant scientist, is also a talented artist (she designed the cover herself 👏👏).


December 13, 2022

A warm welcome to three new group members: Floor Keuning (BSc student Erasmus University College), Kirsten Hopman (MSc student Biomedical Engineering TU Delft) and Kai Cussen (MSc student Biomedical Engineering TU Delft). Looking forward to working with you in the coming months!


December 14, 2022

Neuromechanobiology is the field of research which tries to unveil how mechanical cues influence the behavior and fate of neural (stem) cells.
I am glad to share that our review paper discussing the biological and engineering aspects involved in the neuromechanobiology of scaffold-free and scaffold-based 2D and 3D neuronal models has been just published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology!
This is the result of a great collaboration within the context of our ENW-M-2 project between Delft University of Technology and Amsterdam UMC. Kudos to all the co-authors Pieter van AltenaLucía Castillo Ransanz and Vivi Heine. 👏👏


December 21, 2022

Congratulations Nastaran Barin, PhD student under my and Pim French supervision, for being awarded the second prize of the Delft Bioengineering Institute (BEI) Best MSc Graduate Awards 2022 competition!👏👏👏


January 17, 2023

Honoured to have been appointed Member of the European Scientific and Technical Committee at the European Parliament!

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