Development of a lab-on-chip platform for preconditioning adult-derived stem cells for tissue engineering

Early Stage Researcher: Daniela Cruz Moreira

Host institution: POLIMI


The ESR will be trained in the development of microfluidic devices for cell culture applications. In particular, the ESR will work within a team of engineers, biologists and clinicians to develop a lab-on-chip (LoC) platform fabricated by soft lithography using polydimethilsyloxane (PDMS), so as to provide to cultured cells electrical and mechanical stimulations in a high throughput regime. Additionally, biochemical stimulation will be provided by embedding novel formulations of cell-laden hydrogels as biomimetic environments.

The LoC approach will i) guarantee long-term cardiac cells culturing in several highly controlled conditions, ii) allow for high-throughput cell proliferation/differentiation/apoptosis detection, and iii) ensure automated change of culture medium to cultured cells, thus improving standardization. The ESR will adopt engineering design tools (CAD, FEM) and state-of-the-art microfabrication techniques.

Expected Results

An innovative LoC device, specifically intended for exposing cells to multiple conditions within highly controlled environments. It is anticipated that development of this technology not only will be instrumental to proceed with optimization of adult progenitor cells conditioning for cardiovascular tissue engineering, but will also offer a versatile platform to assess the effect of novel drugs for the treatment of pathologies related to low oxygen concentrations.