Dr Ozbolat, Penn State University, The United States

Dr OzbolatDr Ibrahim Tarik Ozbolat is professor in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department of Penn State. He is a specialist in 3D bioprinting, artificial organs, and regenerative medicine and has recently published research in Biofabrication which looks at a new way to generate microgels; High-throughput microgel biofabrication via air-assisted co-axial jetting for cell encapsulation, 3D bioprinting, and scaffolding applications. This was published open access under the transformative agreement with Big Ten Academic Alliance.

Can you tell us about your latest findings?
Our latest study shows a new technique to make larger quantities of microgels in a much easier way. Due to their properties, microgels are gaining immense attention for use in tissue repair and regeneration. Currently, there are several microgel fabrication techniques, but their wide usage is challenged as they are expensive and time consuming.

With our new technique we can produce more microgels which can be used to create self-healing materials, drug-delivery systems and bioinks to assist 3D imaging of human tissues and organs. Our study has the potential to accelerate tissue engineering technologies and improve the quality of life for many people.

Why did you decide to publish the research open access?
I believe that the democratization of scientific knowledge is essential, and one way to accomplish this goal is by making research open to access. By removing barriers to accessing scientific information, we can ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or financial resources, has the opportunity to engage with and benefit from scientific research. Open access publishing is also an excellent way to make scientific information available to a broader audience, including researchers, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the general public.

What benefits did you see from publishing your work open access?
Publishing our research open access did lead to some surprising outcomes. One of the most notable things that happened was the increased visibility of our work. By making our article freely available, we were able to reach a much wider audience. As a result, we received more downloads and views of our article than we had anticipated. Additionally, some researchers working in the same field reached out with queries or for possible collaborations.

Did the transformative agreement make it easier to publish open access?
Typically, when publishing research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding agency, it is published on platforms like PubMed. However, the publication process can sometimes be time-consuming, with a delay in online availability. The transformative agreement streamlined the publication process, ensuring that our research was made available online as soon as it was accepted.

You can read the full interview with Dr Ozbolat here.