Skip to Content

ESR11 3D printing and bioprinting strategies to treat coronary heart disease.

PhD project title

3D printing and bioprinting strategies to treat coronary heart disease.

Outline description, including interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international dimensions (300 words max)

Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death worldwide requiring millions of vascular bypass/replacement surgeries each year. Bypass surgery requires the incorporation of blood vessels to circumvent blocked arteries using blood vessels harvested from the patient, which is unsuitable for a large number of patients. Synthetic vascular-grafts can be use, however, they have low success rate. Therefore, this project proposes an interdisciplinary approach to tackle this problem. A 3D-bioprinter will be used to build synthetic blood vessels loaded with stem cells. These artificial blood vessels will provide a structure for the cells to form new blood vessels and subsequently will be biodegraded leaving a new functional blood vessel. The project has an international partner, a Spanish nanomedicine/nanotechnology company (InnoUP-Farma), who will bring an industrial sector dimension to the project.


The first stage of the project will cover the design and manufacturing of these blood vessels. This first part will cover disciplines such as 3D-design, flow-dynamic studies (engineering collaborator), advance manufacturing techniques and chemistry. On the other hand, the second part of the project will be developed in collaboration with InnoUP-Farma, who will host the PhD student to develop drug-loaded nanoparticles that will be subsequently incorporated into the 3D-printed vascular grafts. These nanoparticles will be loaded with anticoagulant drugs to prevent the formation of blood clots. The collaboration with this company will provide not only an international dimension to the project but also they will bring more disciplines to this project such as nanotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences. Moreover, it will allow the PhD student to collaborate with a company. The third part of the project will evaluate the incorporation of organoids generated from cells provided by donors into the vascular grafts. This part of the project will rely heavily on tissue culture, biological methods including in vivo studies.

Key words/descriptors



3D printing, material science, medical devices, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, cardiovascular disease, organoids, diabetes, drug delivery, nanotechnology

Fit to CITI-GENS theme(s)


  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences

Supervisor Information



First Supervisor: Dr. Eneko Larrañeta                                      School: School of Pharmacy

Second Supervisor: Dr. Andriana Margariti                            School: School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Third Supervisor: Dr. Maite Agueros                                       Company: InnoUp Farma


Name of non-HEI partner(s)

InnoUp Farma (Pamplona – Spain)

Contribution of non-HEI partner(s) to the project:



InnoUp Farma, a pharmaceutical company, will host the student during the project. Their contribution will be to supervise the student while developing nanoparticles loaded with anticoagulant drugs to be incorporated into the 3D printed vascular grafts. They will also provide training to the student in disciplines such as nanotechnology and pharmaceutical product manufacturing and characterisation. Moreover, this is an international company located in Spain bringing an international dimension to the project. Finally, the student will have the opportunity to visit the Pharmaceutical Technology Department at University of Navarra (Pamplona) that has active collaborations with InnoUp Farma. University of Navarra will provide access to advance nanoparticle characterisation technologies provided by Prof. Juan Manuel Irache and his  team.


 Profile of the non-HEI partner and the nature of the relationship.    



INNOUP FARMA: InnoUp Farma is a company dedicated to nanotechnology innovation, that seeks to develop solutions for the administration of oral drugs. InnoUp has a technology platform, protected by international patents, based on the use of nanoparticles. One of our projects using this platform enables oral administration of anti-cancer drugs with low oral bioavailability. Another ongoing project based on our platform uses nanoparticles as an adjuvant in immunotherapy and vaccination. In addition, InnoUp also uses this technology to develop new Over The Counter (OTC) products.

In order to take advantage of the most cutting-edge research InnoUp Farma has a network of collaborators from universities and research centers.

Research centre / School

School of Pharmacy


Subject area

Advance manufacturing / regenerative medicine