Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Highly sensitive analysis using 3D cell culture model

A research goal for ABS is to develop miniaturized platforms for research in (stem)cell, in-vitro systems and application in clinical and preventive research. Combined with the high throughput, this development will make it possible to study the dynamics of pathogenesis in human and cellular models over time and to determine the effect of pharmacological or life-style interventions in in vitro and in vivo systems. Monitoring metabolic health using minimal invasive sampling will deliver important information during the course and the early onset of diseases.

Thomas Hankemeier

We have developed a microfluidic platform for complex 3D organotypic cell cultures (so-called organ-on-a-chip systems) that are suited for integration into 96 or higher well plate formats. These systems allow for drug screening studies or the study of disease mechanisms and their modifications by pharmacology. We use imaging, biochemical and metabolomics assays as phenotypic readouts. As we can create organ-on-a-chip models based on patient derived cells (based on primary cells or via induced pluripotent stem cells), we can study differences between patients in bodyfluids of patients and in our in-vitro models.

Recently, we have launched the Organ-on-a-chip company MIMETAS based on this technology.

Innovative modules are being developed to allow for the enrichment, fractionation and analysis of ultrasmall, biomass limited samples. These include primary cell samples from patients, small samples from animal models (allowing the longitudinal sampling of the same animal), and samples from miniaturised in-vitro systems.

We are miniaturizing our platforms using nanoLC-MS and improving the injection into CE-MS and the interfacing of CE and MS. We will further develop novel analytical methods we recently developed and patented such as depleted zone isotachophoresis, two-phase or three-phase electroextraction, or our hanging droplet solvent enrichment module.

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