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Introducing Francesco Torelli, a PhD student working on the bone scaffold domain of BoneFix

An integral part of the University of Bergen BoneFix team is PhD student Francesco Torelli. In the project, Francesco is focused on the investigation, biofabrication and in vitro and in vivo characterization of the stem-cell instructive photo-curable hydrogel scaffolds for segmental and critical size bone defects which will make up domain 1 of BoneFix.

Originally from Jesi, Italy, Francesco has a background in dentistry and is an Italian licensed Special Needs Dentist and Craniofacial Biologist. In 2018 he was awarded a degree summa cum laude in Dental Medicine from Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy, where he was supervised by Angelo Putignano and Mauro Merli. Following his degree, he stayed in Ancona to practice in public dentistry for special needs patients at the Italian National Centre of Excellence for Osteonecrosis of the Jaws. Francesco won a scholarship from the Italian Society of Special Needs Dentistry, after which he moved to the UK to obtain a masters degree from the Centre of Regenerative and Craniofacial Biology at King’s College London, which he finished in 2020. He then began his PhD with the Tissue Engineering Group at the University of Bergen in June 2021.

It was the multidisciplinary aspect of Tissue Engineering which attracted Francesco to the field. The BoneFix project gives him the chance to work with chemical engineers, material scientists, cell and development biologists and signaling experts on a daily basis. The potential applications of the BoneFix technology is also of great interest to Francesco, who sees the technology as a “beneficial tool for a wide range of patients, creating additional value to the current clinical landscape.”

Outside of the lab, Francesco is engaged in side projects in Philosophy and Sociology of Science, focusing on the sociotechnical imaginaries of biofabrication. He is also extremely into Sci-Fi and Fantasy pop culture and considers the visionary Sci-Fi author Michael Crichton as his first mentor.


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