Welcome to the NICHD Ideascale Community

We're glad you're here! NICHD's research mission covers all stages of human development, from pre-pregnancy through old age, meaning our research touches millions of lives. We invite your ideas, comments, and perspectives to help guide our activities and achieve healthy and optimal lives for all. Check out our campaigns and add your voice.


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Advancing Bioprinting and Regenerative Medicine Solutions for Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Pediatric Applications

Regenerative medicine aims to restore physiological tissue/organ function impaired due to genetics, injury, or toxicity. The remarkable progress in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and biomaterials of the past three decades has opened new therapeutic opportunities for regenerative medicine applications aimed at improving the prognosis and quality of life of individuals currently without or with only limited (i.e., palliative) treatment options.

The introduction of 3D printing, a type of additive manufacturing, has been recognized as influential in multiple disciplines. The technology allows for the creation of 3D constructs by depositing successive layers of raw material. Optimization of protocols and biocompatible materials for printing biological, cellular, and tissue-based products (a.k.a., bioprinting) is enabling innovative approaches for regenerative/reparative medicine applications previously too cumbersome to design and manufacture. Constructs are produced from a digital 3D file, such as a computer-aided design drawing or an MRI, providing great versatility and allowing the design of patient-specific constructs. Such items are highly desirable particularly for functional restoration of anatomical structures that require frequent adaptation and remodeling in pediatric population (e.g., growth in infants and children), as well as for pelvic and reproductive organs.

The 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-255) has stimulated scientific and technological advances in regenerative medicine research and prompted the development of regulatory paths conducive to clinical testing and approval of these approaches in the United States. Nevertheless, translation of regenerative therapeutics from bench-to-bedside has been extremely limited to date, especially for the treatment of obstetric/gynecologic and pediatric conditions. This observation points to the timely need for a critical assessment on the state-of-the-science on tissue construct manufacturing using 3D printing, and for identifying opportunities and current hurdles to overcome for a successful translation of regenerative medicine therapeutics to the clinical arena.

This IdeaScale campaign and the November 16-17 workshop aim to stimulate a much-needed transdisciplinary discussion on the state-of-the art of tissue construct manufacturing using 3D printing in the context of obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric applications with leaders in the fields of tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, regulatory and business experts, as well as clinicians.

As part of these efforts, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), invites you to submit your ideas and feedback to inform this transdisciplinary discussion, as well as future research on bioprinting and regenerative medicine topics across the NICHD portfolio and of other NIH institutes and centers operating in this space. 

We welcome ideas not only about projects to identify and quantify current gaps and roadblocks, but also on strategies to mitigate and overcome them, with successful translation of safe and effective new therapeutic options in the obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric clinical arenas as the ultimate goal.

About NICHD

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) was founded in 1962 to investigate human development throughout the lifespan, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy. Since then, research conducted and funded by NICHD has helped save lives, improve well-being, and reduce societal costs associated with illness, injury, and disability.

Our mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.

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