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

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

Help Shape Future Research

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.

Campaign Brief

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) was established 60 years ago to investigate human development throughout the entire life process, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy. Today, the NICHD 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.

As part of this mission, and as outlined the NICHD Strategic Plan, the institute supports research to advance safe and effective therapeutics—including regenerative medicine—and devices for its populations of interest, including women, children, and people with disabilities. 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.

Significant progress in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and biomaterials has opened new therapeutic opportunities for regenerative medicine to improve the prognosis and quality of life of individuals currently without or with only limited (i.e., palliative) treatment options.

The introduction of 3D printing technology, with optimization of protocols and biocompatible materials for printing biological, cellular, and tissue-based products (a.k.a., bioprinting) is enabling innovative, patient-specific approaches for regenerative/reparative medicine applications previously too cumbersome to design and manufacture.

Notwithstanding the significant developments of the recent past, translation of regenerative medicine from bench-to-bedside as therapeutic options has been extremely limited to date, especially for the treatment of obstetric/gynecologic and pediatric conditions.

This IdeaScale campaign and the corresponding November 16-17 workshop aim to initiate a critical assessment of the state-of-the-science on tissue construct manufacturing using 3D printing, to identify opportunities and current hurdles the must be overcome, and to define strategies and resources that will advance regenerative medicine therapeutics in the clinical arena.

NICHD invites you to submit your ideas and feedback to inform the state-of-the-science discussion, as well as future research on the bioprinting and regenerative medicine topics across the NICHD portfolio and that of other NIH institutes and centers operating in this space. We welcome comments not only on projects to identify and quantify current gaps and roadblocks, but also on strategies to mitigate and overcome them, for the successful translation of safe and effective new therapeutic options in the obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric clinical arenas.

Submitting an Idea

NICHD requests your feedback on the following:

  • Where are we? What do you consider as the major accomplishment(s) of the use of bioprinted tissue constructs and/or regenerative medicine strategies the treatment of obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric conditions?
  • Where are we going? What bold application of bioprinted tissue construct and/or regenerative medicine solutions would you like to see in the treatment of obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric conditions?
  • Why are we not there yet? What are the major gaps and/or impediments (i.e., fundamental knowledge, technological, biological, regulatory, need for validated models/tools/biomarkers, clinical grade manufacturing, scale-up, financial, etc.) to the successful implementation of bioprinted tissue construct and/or regenerative medicine-based therapeutics for obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric conditions?
  • How do we get there? How could roadblocks be mitigated or eliminated to achieve successful implementation of bioprinted tissue construct and/or regenerative medicine-based therapeutics for obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric conditions?
  • What will help us get there? What resources (e.g., tools, technology, human capital) are needed to advance the field?

Select the Submit an Idea button at the top of the page to provide responses to the proposed questions. Please review others' responses, comment on responses, and vote for preferred ideas.

  • Community responses are voluntary and may be submitted either anonymously or with identifying information. Do not include proprietary, classified, confidential or sensitive information in a response.
  • Comments may be compiled for discussion and may appear in related reports or white papers without personal identifiers (e.g., names, e-mail addresses, will be removed). Processed, anonymized results will be shared internally with NICHD staff members, and any member of scientific working groups convened by NICHD, as appropriate.
  • If contact information is provided, it is possible that NICHD staff may contact respondents and invite some respondents to present concepts for discussion at a future meeting or workshop. There will be no obligation to do so, and responses will otherwise be considered confidential.
  • This community is intended for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the federal government. The NICHD does not intend to make any awards based on responses gathered through this community, or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the government's use of such information.