Biofabrication for Hierarchical in Vitro Tissue Models

An ECI Conference

June 4-9, 2017
Schloss Hernstein
Hernstein, Austria

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About This Conference

The goal of this conference is to bring together experts working in the area of biofabrication, embracing the technological aspects of fabrication and printing, as well as the biological target structures and their application for in vitro screening and toxicity tissue models, cancer research and therapy.

Biofabrication uses additive manufacturing principles to produce complex structures for biomedical applications. This ranges from in vitro models for the testing of drugs/therapies to the generation of potential medical implants and includes the use of hydrogels, degradable and non-degradable polymers. Biofabrication is thus a part of tissue engineering, however exploiting 3D printing technologies and additive manufacturing with the advantage of automatization and, in contrast to other tissue engineering approaches, designed arrangement of different cells and materials in three dimensions. It thus allows for the generation of heterogeneous and hierarchical structures resembling native tissue morphologies through the production process. Biofabrication is a truly interdisciplinary research field embracing engineering, materials science, chemistry, physics, biology and medicine.

Biofabrication is a young, dynamic and rapidly growing field of research. The International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF) was founded in 2010, the journal “Biofabrication” was initiated in 2009 and recently reached an impact factor of 4.3. In line with the growing interest in the field, the number of dedicated sessions during various conferences is also increasing, however, the only regular scientific conference dedicated to biofabrication is the annual meeting of the ISBF, which is held in 2015 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

With this conference, we thus intend to initiate a second regular conference series on biofabrication, held in spring (in contrast to the annual meetings of the International Society for Biofabrication held in October/November), to have a second regular scheme for the growing society to meet and discuss the state of the art of the field. As the field is rapidly growing and catching a lot for attention, we expect a high interest in such a conference, and we do see this as a chance for ECI to establish this format at an early time point in a growing field of research.

Session topics and program

The program will include sessions on:

  • Fabrication technologies (printing and assembling)
  • Novel inks
  • Biofabrication of musculosceletal tissues
  • Biofabrication of vascular structures
  • Biofabrication for cancer research
  • In vitro tissue models
  • Therapeutic approaches and translational aspects


The conference will be held according to the typical format of ECI. It will be held for 4.5 days, beginning on the Sunday evening and continuing until the following Friday afternoon. Morning and afternoon/evening sessions will be scheduled to provide a stimulating balance between formal presentations, small group interactions and informal discussions. Each session will have 1-2 invited keynote lectures, followed by several shorter presentations. The conference banquet is scheduled for Wednesday evening, so that all participants will attend. Attendance at the conference will be limited in order to encourage maximum interaction. All participants will stay at the conference site.

Conference Organization

Chair: Prof. Jürgen Groll
Chair of Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry
University of Würzburg, Germany

Co-Chair: Prof. Jos Malda
University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands

Conference Venue

The conference will be held at Schloss Hernstein Seminar Hotel. The hotel is situated in the wonderful Triestingtal valley, surrounded by pine forests and a carp lake. Guests can enjoy sauna, steam and fitness rooms, as well as a large indoor swimming pool. There are also several signposted routes for jogging on forest tracks starting at the hotel.

Brochure describing the history of Schloss Hernstein:          Part I                     Part II

Hernstein Castle is situated at the fringe of the Viennese Basin, in the stepped footland of the Styrian and Lower Austrian limestone alps. Its history goes back to medieval times: once the castle safeguarded the street to Berndorf Village and the valley before it. In former times the building comprised a housing unit and a chapel. It would have been very difficult to expand the building; therefore a new castle – the core of today´s castle – was built in the valley at the foot of the mountain where the old castle had been built.

After the Turkish wars this new building was expanded and in the 18th century it got a uniform facade. For a long time the castle was owned by the Habsburgs and was used as domicile by Archduke Leopold Ludwig. The renowned architect Theophil Hansen designed the castle.

Hernstein Castle is one of the largest seminar hotels in Austria and is only available to seminar participants. Therefore it ensures a tranquil atmosphere of learning and working. Hernstein Castle has 74 modern bedrooms. Room amenities include sky and satellite TV, a minibar, work desk, and wireless internet.

Travel Information

If you are driving to the conference, map and directions are provided.  Your browser can translate the page into English.

If you are not renting a car, the easiest way to get to Schloss Hernstein is to take a taxi from the airport. You can also take a train from Vienna to Leobersdorf and then a taxi to Hernstein. Be certain to print out the map and directions in case the taxi driver in Vienna is not familiar with the rural area where Schloss Hernstein is location.

Address: Seminarhotel Schloss Hernstein, Berndorfer Strasse 32, 2560 Hernstein. Telephone: +43-2633 472510

General Information

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

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