Research

Microfluidics

Blood cell phenotyping

Blood cell phenotyping

We have established a multifunctional nanobiointerface inside microfluidic devices for selective blood cell capture, enrichment and phenotyping applications that features both excellent antifouling properties and high antibody activity.

Functional materials for microfluidic cell cultures

Functional materials for microfluidic cell cultures

We have developed a novel method for cell cultivation in a micro-sized polymer device under anoxic (absence of oxygen) conditions, where neither additional supplements (oxygen scavengers) nor gas supply is needed. The dissolved oxygen is scavenged by a modified thiol-ene-epoxy polymer, while the scavenging rate is adjustable by fabrication process and channel geometry.

Microfluidic wound healing & migration assay

Microfluidic wound healing & migration assay

A lab-on-a-chip capable of mechanically inducing circular cell-free areas within confluent cell layers. All cell migration and wound healing assays are based on the inherent ability of adherent cells to move into adjacent cell-free areas, thus providing information on cell culture viability, cellular mechanisms and multicellular movements.

Nanotox platform

Nanotox platform

We are currently developing a microfluidic live cell microarray containing integrated optical microsensors to continuously and non-invasively monitor oxygen consumption and acidification rates of various cell types in the absence and presence of nanoparticles.

Multi-cellular spheroid array

Multi-cellular spheroid array

Generation of multi-cellular spheroids inside microfluidic devices to assess drug diffusivity.

Self-powered sensing solution

Self-powered sensing solution

Development of a disposable, self-powered biosensing microsystem based on the integraton of a biofuel cell connected to a microsensor array and readout for point-of-care diagnostics of biofluids including urine, saliva and blood.

Implantable biosensors

Implantable biosensors

Transplant-rejection monitoring: Every transplanted tissue and solid organ bears the risk of rejection, which can finally result in the loss of the transplant with falling back into disability or even death. To overcome the medical risks associated with obtaining heart tissue biopsies to identify organ rejection episodes, we are currently developing an titanium-dioxide coated implantable biosensors for transplant rejection monitoring. Detection of early stages of rejection and continuous monitoring can prevent severe organ impairment or even loss of function.

Smart Implants

Smart Implants

Next generation medical devices for personalized medicine: Endosseous implants support bone healing and permit early musculoskeletal loading shortly after trauma surgery. Monitoring of osseous healing by X-ray imaging is limited due to high energy absorption within the patient’s body and exhibits reduced resolution at metallic surfaces. To overcome this technological limitation we have developed an implantable biosensor capable of monitoring implant integration, stability and patient-dependent bone healing kinetics and has four discernable features.

Single-cell array

Single-cell array

Cellular heterogeneity is key principle in biology that can be linked to individual health status of humans. To investigate the ratio of early, normal and late as well as non-responding cells following exposure to chemicals, nanomaterials and bioactive substances, we are developing a single-cell microfluidic platform. Sponsors: Funding: Sponsors

Models

Cell barriers

Cell barriers

Three multi-layered membrane-based and sensor integrated microfluidic biochips are currently developed to study uptake transport properties of three biological barriers including the placenta, stomach, kidney and lung.

Organ/Disease

Vascularization model

Vascularization model

We have engineered three-dimensional pre-vascular networks within fibrin hydrogel constructs by microfluidic control over reciprocal cell signaling to study the impact of nutrient gradients on network formation. Sponsors and Partners:

Osteoarthritis model

Osteoarthritis model

The aim of this project is to integrate a living tissue analogue that resembles the inner lining of a joint capsule into our complementary cell chip system. Called “synovial organ-on-a-chip”, this lab-on-a-chip will be used to study the destructive inflammatory process of rheumatoid synovitis by investigating the dynamic structural changes of the organ model.

Rheumatic arthritis model

Rheumatic arthritis model

The aim of this project is to integrate a living tissue analogue that resembles the inner lining of a joint capsule into our complementary cell chip system. Called “synovial organ-on-a-chip”, this lab-on-a-chip will be used to study the destructive inflammatory process of rheumatoid synovitis by investigating the dynamic structural changes of the organ model.

Parkinson’s model

Parkinson’s model

One of the main limitations in neuroscience and in the modeling of neurodegenerative diseases is the lack of advanced experimental in vitro models that truly recapitulate the complexity of the human brain. Therefore, it is the aim of the here proposed research project to generate brain-like organoids that resemble the human midbrain and their integration into a multifunctional lab-on-a-chip device.

Stomach-on-a-chip

In a collaborative project, we are supporting Dr. Carla Olivera’s Expression Regulation in Cancer Group at i3s Portugal (www.i3s.up.pt) in the development of a biomimetic stomach model.

Placenta-on-a-chip

The aim of the project is to recapitulate the physiological functions of the human placental barrier to study the adverse effects of high blood pressure on barrier function during pregnancies.

Lung-on-a-chip

The aim of this project is to develop biomimetic lung-model on chip to evaluate the toxicity of nanoparticles on healthy and compromised lungs.