Current members

Amin Shavandi

Group leader

Amin Shavandi studied Food Engineering in Iran and then obtained a Master of chemical engineering at the University of Putra Malaysia. He accomplished his Ph.D. at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2017 for research on the bone scaffolds generated from waste marine shells. He then joined the Centre for Material Science and Technology at the University of Otago as a postdoctoral fellow in collaboration with Lincoln University (NZ) and Deakin University Australia. In 2018, Amin moved to the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) as an Assistant professor, where he is heading the BioMatter unit dedicated to research on biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicines with a focus on the valorization of biomass materials toward biomedical applications.

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Lei Nie

Visiting professor

Lei Nie completed his Ph.D. (2013) from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and after that received three years of postdoctoral training at Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering (CAS, China) and Free University of Berlin (Germany). He began his research as an independent PI at Xinyang Normal University (China) in 2017. He started 3D bioprinting work at KU Leuven (Belgium) in 2019. His main research interests include biopolymers, drug delivery, nanoparticles, and tissue engineering.

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Erika Zago

Postdoc

Erika Zago is a chemist with experience in organic synthesis and biochemistry involving phenolic compounds, lipids, and sugars. She works in the synthesis of high-added value molecules from plant by-products. In 2015, Erika obtained her PhD from the Université de Montpellier in France by developing a new chemo-enzymatic pathway to lipophilize small phenolic molecules from rapeseed meal resulting in the increase of their antioxidant capacity for application in heterogeneous medium. In the same project, she studied the synthesis of sustainable bio-based dimers to substitute Bisphenol-A in epoxy resins formulation. She joined the BioMatter team at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2020 as a postdoctoral fellow. Her current project involves the study of extraction and functionalization of phenolics from beer spent grain to produce bio-based polymers with dental and/or medical applications.

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Masoud Hamidi

Postdoc

Masoud has a B.Sc. degree in Clinical Laboratory and a M.Sc. degree in Microbial Biotechnology. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in 2014 from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Since 22nd November 2014, he was a Faculty member of Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Medical biotechnology.

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Mahta Mirzaei

Postdoc

Mahta Mirzaei studied Food Science and Technology at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and then obtained a Master of Food Science and Technology at Shiraz University, Iran. She accomplished her Ph.D. at the Science and Research Branch of  Azad University in 2016 for research on bioactive peptides generated from yeast protein hydrolysate. She has joined the Biomatter Unit as a postdoctoral fellow, in 2020, where she will be working on the functionalization of biomaterial with bioactive peptides for wound healing applications.

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Oseweuba Okoro

Postdoc

Oseweuba is a  researcher at the BioMatter research unit, where he is investigating the recovery of aromatics from lignin-rich biomass. Previously he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Process/Chemical Engineering, Stellenbosch University, South Africa where he explored the process modeling of biorefinery systems. He has also previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Department of Physics, University of Otago, New Zealand, where he explored the sufficiency of biological desulphurization strategies via the integrated application of sewage sourced sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. His previous academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with First class (Nigeria), a Master of Science degree in Energy and environmental management with Distinction (UK), and a Ph.D. degree in Physics (New Zealand).

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Maryam Hajiabbas

Postdoc

Maryam Hajiabbas studied all her education at sharif university of technology, Iran. She studied chemical engineering, and she accomplished her Ph.D. degree in biotechnology in 2020. Her research field mainly focuses on tissue engineering and drug delivery, and she did her master’s and Ph.D. projects in these fields. During her education, she had a collaboration with urology and heart research centers to preparing tissue scaffolds. She also worked as a business R&D in an accelerator for biotechnology projects. She has joined as a postdoctoral fellow to the Laboratory of Pathophysiological and Nutritional Biochemistry (team of Prof Delporte), Faculty of Medicine where she will be working on 3D bioprinting of salivary gland tissue in collaboration with the BioMatter Lab in 2021.

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Akhramez Soufiane

Visiting postdoc

Doctor in Organic Chemistry (University studies at the Faculty of Science and Technology University Sultan Moulay Sliman Beni Mellal Morocco), whose research is on developing biomedical hydrogel through chemical modification of Morrocan sugarcane bagasse.

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Hafez Jafari

PhD Student

Hafez joined us as a Ph.D. candidate in 2019/20. he received his bachelor’s in Polymer Engineering from Tehran University, Iran, and moved on to pursue a master’s in Bioengineering (Tissue Engineering) from Tehran University. During his masters, he worked in the fields of bone tissue engineering. His Ph.D. project is developing 3-dimensional anti-infectious hydrogels with adhesive property for skin wound healing application.

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Parinaz Hobbi

PhD Student

Parinaz joined the lab in 2020 to conduct her Ph.D. in Bioengineering (BioMatter Unit). She previously received her MSc in Food Biotechnology at the University of Tehran, Iran. During her masters, she worked in the field of production and characterization of lipase enzymes which were applicable for human consumption. Her Ph.D. research will be on developing and characterizing a 3D microenvironment containing probiotic bacteria and skin cells for potential healing of skin tissue and regeneration.

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Pejman Ghaffari

PhD student

I received my bachelor’s from Lorestan University and master’s from Tehran University in Polymer Engineering. My master thesis was about preparing polymeric scaffolds in bone tissue engineering applications. During my master, Meanwhile, I worked in the field of antibacterial wound dressing based on biocompatible and biodegradable polymers. My Ph.D. project will be on smart oxygen wound dressing that can optimize oxygen release profile in the local of the wound and facilitate the wound healing process.

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Julia Simińska-Stanny

PhD Student

Julia studied at Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland, for her Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science degrees. She is interested in research that integrates aspects of medical and technical sciences, as she studied Biomedical Engineering, and obtained two master’s degrees in Management and Manufacturing Engineering and Chemistry and Materials Engineering with a specialization in Advanced Functional Materials. She moved to Brussels for her Ph.D. studies. Her work will be related to developing a 3D bioprinted angiogenesis model for salivary glands, beginning with materials synthesis, bioprinting and ending with functional evaluation. This project will be a part of the ongoing collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine (ULB, Erasme), BioMatter (ULB, Solbosch) and Dr. Daria Podstawczyk from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland.

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Elza Khaled

Master student

Currently, I am finishing my master’s degree in bioengineering in chemistry and bio-industries, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). My thesis subject is the optimization of collagen extraction from mussel byssus thread and possible application as a wound healing patch. Being a member of the Biomatter lab is a great opportunity to apply and develop the versatile scientific knowledge that I learned in my bioengineering cursus

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Cecile Brigode

Master student

Cecile did her internship at the BioMatter and currently has started her Master thesis in collaboration with the BioBased materials group at the University of Kyoto, Japan working on biopolymeric films.

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Lucrece Michelle Massodi Eboumbou

Master student

I received my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the Catholic University Institute of Buea, Cameroon, where I had a great experience in the field of chemical engineering with a final year thesis project « extraction and characterization of essential oil from Syzygium aromaticum and monodora myristica: chemical composition and antioxidant activity ». I have been in Brussels since 2020 and I am currently finishing my master’s degree in chemical and materials engineering in process technology at the VUB/ULB (Bruface program). My thesis will be on the simplified mechanism of apple pomace lignin depolymerisation for aromatic oil production. Very interesting topic since I want to do more research on this field.

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Feza Hachemi

Master student

Feza is French and doing her internship at BioMatter as part of her engineering degree in materials at Polytech Paris Saclay.

Simultaneously, she is doing a double degree in biomedical at the Gustave Roussy Hospital to specialize in biomaterials

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Victor Preat

Master student

Living in Brussels since I’m a child, I am currently finishing my master’s degree in bioengineering in environmental science and technology at the ULB. My thesis will be based on the isolation and characterization of biomolecule present in the BSF insect farm side stream. This is perfectly in line with the startup I just launched with the aim of upcycling unsold food through BSF culture.

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Carla Ruiz

Master student

Carla is currently a 4th-year student in biological engineering at Polytech Clermont INP, France.

She is doing a four-month internship at the Biomatter Lab to study tissue engineering for 3D-bioprinting technology applications.

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Previous members

  • Daniel Sedilesu (Internship)
  • Nael El Hosseini (MSc)
  • Sadki Rihab (Internship-MSc)
  • Angélina Pezenas (Internship-MSc)
  • Ana Torrecillas (MSc)
  • Cécile Tillier (Internship-MSc)
  • Nelson De Laet – Technician
  • Valentine Escoda (MSc)