MSC KOL Interview Series: Interoperative Bioprinting for Cranomaxillofacial Reconstruction with Ibrahim Ozbolat

Dr. Ibrahim Ozbolat, a familiar name and known figure in the world of bioprinting and tissue engineering, is embarking onto a journey to develop an intraoperative composite tissue bioprinting technique for cranomaxillofacial reconstruction. Amongst the several other projects his lab is actively pursuing, I had the opportunity to connect with him earlier this month to learn about this particularly exciting work.

We also took a walk down memory lane to learn about his early beginnings and what propelled his career. Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of Dr. Andrew Kusiak who was department chair at the University of Iowa when he was a faculty there, and who has been a strong supporter of his career nominating him for awards that he received. The article that made a huge impact on his career called Printed Life brought him into the limelight in the world of bioprinting.

Listen to this exclusive interview to get his personal insights on bioprinting and life as an academic, click on video below:



Being an advocate and user of RoosterBio’s products, Dr. Ozbolat and his team have been working closely with us to implement our Xeno-Free MSC cell and bioprocess media systems, with a direct path to cGMP and clinical translation, into their workflow. Through this process, we were able to get insightful comments and feedback from him on how well our solution has worked for their application. One such project that his team worked on was the printing of spheroids using MSCs to generate osteogenic tissues. This work was recently published in Science Advances [1]. As Dr. Ozbolat highlighted, access and use of high cell numbers is critical in generating physiologically relevant cell densities that are needed to create tissues or organs.

One of the greatest advantages in using RoosterBio’s MSCs is the direct/immediate/ready access to hundreds of millions of cells for the fabrication of densely-packed spheroids and cell-laden hydrogels at physiologically-relevant cell densities. This is believed to have a huge impact on the fabrication of scalable tissues with the potential to create clinically relevant tissue or organ.”

An interesting observation made by his team during the submission process of this high impact research paper was the critical need for quick experimental turnaround time. Due to the limited time given for resubmission, it was necessary for the team to generate more data from repeated experiments in the shortest amount of time possible.

“Since we had limited time for revision, using RoosterBio media significantly expedited the growth rate of MSCs (at least by 3-folds) compared to that purchased from other commercial vendors in our past research.”

In their recently awarded NIH grant, Dr. Ozbolat’s team plans to utilize human adipose-derived cells from patients in their clinics at Penn State but will also run parallel experiments using RoosterBio’s hAd-MSCs to evaluate robustness and reliability of these cell sources for bone regeneration. Part of the motivation here is to really assess donor-to-donor variability as is common with any patient derived sources. Having a reliable supply of high quality MSCs that can generate consistent performance is critical to the success of any translational or basic research.

“In parallel, we plan to develop a robust process based on RoosterBio MSCs in our experiments and evaluate their impact on bone regeneration for critical size calvarial defects in nude rats. We anticipate that RoosterBio MSCs will yield more consistent and reproducible outcomes compared to human ADSCs from clinics as we, in the past, have experienced variability in the growth and osteogenic differentiation of these primary cells.”

In his recent joint publication co-authored by several bioprinting and tissue engineering experts in the field [2], we wanted to gain more insights into the roadblocks that are currently holding the biofabrication industry back and what role RoosterBio can play in addressing any challenges or unmet need. One key roadblock highlighted by Dr. Ozbolat is the lack of accessibility to high volumes of cell numbers in short turnaround times for creating clinically relevant tissues or organs.

“One of the greatest challenges witnessed in the investigation and bioprinting of clinically relevant volumes of tissues and organs is the lack of sufficient number of cells that can differentiate into different lineages. In particular, the isolation and growth of sufficient number of human stem cells take a very long time which is a critical roadblock for the translation of bioprinting technologies into clinics.”

In his new project which involves in situ bioprinting directly onto the defect site, he believes that RoosterBio’s off-the-shelf and xeno-free ready-to-print (RTP) human bone marrow derived MSCs is going to be extremely helpful to fill this critical need. Looking ahead and into the future, here are some things he is hoping to see from our team.

“With recent advances in gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, we also expect that in the future RoosterBio can create universal MSCs that can be tolerated by any human recipient, reducing the risk of immune rejection of transplanted bioprinted tissues.”

If you are interested to share about your exciting work in MSCs, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Maya Lim at



[1] Ayan Aspiration-assisted bioprinting for precise positioning of biologics. Science Advances. 2020. Vol 6(10): eaaw5111
[2] Sun The bioprinting roadmap. Biofabrication. 2020. Vol 12(2): 022002

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