TU/e

Eindhoven University of Technology

 

Contact

Jaap den Toonder
J.M.J.d.Toonder@tue.nl

Reinder Coehoorn  r.coehoorn@tue.nl

Added value Eindhoven University of Technology for hDMT

• The expertise at TU/e contributed to hDMT enables development of the technical platforms
needed to create a micro-environment in which complex tissue structures can be grown,
manipulated and studied, mimicking in vivo processes.
• Materials are essential in organ-on-a-chip devices, since they define the direct microenvironment
of the biological tissue. The chemical, mechanical, and electronic properties of the material
can drive biological processes such as cell differentiation and tissue formation. The materials
expertise contribute the necessary material knowledge and expertise to synthesize, process,
and integrate materials.
• Organ-on-chip are integrated devices – different components made of different materials must
be combined to create a functioning device. We make integrated devices such as microfluidic
devices with microactuators based on responsive materials that can apply deformation,
forces, or fluid flow, surface topography that can steer fluidic or biological processes, organic
electronics for applying electrical stimuli or reading out electrical signals, devices allowing for
magnetic actuation of particles for diagnostics, etc.
• Theoretical and numerical models can be essential for an efficient and effective design of
organ on chip applications, and may help to guide and understand cell and tissue behavior in
the chip environment.

 

Added value hDMT for Eindhoven University of Technology

• Collaboration with hDMT partmers, with complementary expertise (medical / clinical expertise,
cell-biology, and complementary technology), all needed to develop organ-on-a-chip, provides
opportunities for TU/e to contribute to exciting and highly relevant applications in this area.
• hDMT provides the opportunity to leverage our developed materials and technologies.
• hDMT provides TU/e with novel research questions, which will certainly drive new developments
in materials, technologies, manufacturing approaches, devices, and models.
• Availability of infrastructure at hDMT partners provides TU/e new opportunities (for
characterization and processing). 

 

Expertise and facilities:

Expertise

The expertise at TU/e contributed to hDMT enables development of the technical platforms needed
to create a micro-environment in which complex tissue structures can be grown, manipulated and
studied, mimicking in vivo processes. This expertise can be divided into 3 classes: materials,
device integration, and modelling.

MATERIALS (Groups Meijer, Broer/Schenning, den Toonder)
• Artificial extracellular matrices, with controlled stiffness and biological functionality.
• Responsive materials, controllable by light, temperature, electrical field, magnetic fields, or
other stimuli.
• Membrane materials – PDMS, SU-8, collagen, LC networks, and other materials
• Conductive soft (polymer based) materials.
• Tuneable (nano)porous materials.
• Hydrogels, elastomers, thermoplastic polymers, liquid crystal networks, with tunable elastic,
morphological, biochemical, and electronic properties.

DEVICE INTEGRATION (Groups den Toonder, Broer/Schenning, Coehoorn)
• Devices with integrated microactuators that can apply deformation, forces, or fluid flow.
• Devices with surface topography that can steer fluidic or biological processes.
• Organic electronics for applying electrical stimuli or reading out electrical signals.
• Devices allowing for magnetic actuation of particles for diagnostics.
• Out-of-cleanroom device manufacturing approaches: soft lithography, laser micromachining,
3D-printing, polymer technology.
• Methods for cell patterning in devices: microfluidics, printing.

MODELING (Groups Storm, Coehoorn)
• Modeling, understanding, and predicting the relationship between material properties (both
mechanical and electronic) at larger length scales and structure at smaller scales.
• Modeling of biological gels and tissues, functional polymer surfaces for biosensing, selforganization
in charged lipid systems, electronic processes in organic LEDs, viral and synthetic
self-assembly, and dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers for drug delivery.

Facilities

• Microfab lab @ TU/e: a state-of-the-art microfabrication facility (640 m2) for efficient and
flexible manufacturing of fully functional microsystems research prototypes on the basis of
non-cleanroom processing: soft lithography, laser micromachining, 3D-printing, polymer
processing.
• Cell and tissue lab: fully equipped cell culture room, containing >6 safety cabinets and >15
cell incubators; fully equipped biochemical room; several fluorescence, confocal and 2-photon
microscopes, with mechanical analysis equipment.
• Cleanroom: Nanolab@TU/e, with advanced cleanroom equipment for thin film deposition,
lithography, and analysis.
• Extensive in-house computing cluster facilities and supercomputer access.

 

Ongoing projects:

Cancer metastasis on a Chip; PI Jaap den Toonder, funded by TU/e and STW. With Erasmus
MC + Philips
Dynamic self-cleaning surfaces enabled by responsive materials. PI Jaap den Toonder,
funded by STW. With Broer/Schenning group + RUG.
Bio-inspired Hairy Surfaces for Actuation or Sensing, PI Jaap den Toonder, funded by DPI.
Circulating cells, PIs Jaap den Toonder and Carlijn Bouten, funded by CTMM.
Development of a nano biosystem for the study of brain functions on chip, PIs Jaap den
Toonder and Regina Luttge, funded by TU/e.
Polymers in Motion. Pis Dick Broer, Bert Meijer, funded by NWO-CW.
Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing, PI Albert Schenning,
funded by EU.
Membranes with Adjustable Interior in their Nanopores, PIs D.J. Broer, A. Schenning,
funded by DPI.
Programme on Designer Biopolymer Materials, PI Cornelis Storm, funded by FOM.
Programme “Barriers in the Brain”, PI Cornelis Storm, funded by FOM.
Programme “ Mechanosensing and Mechanotransduction by Cells”, PI Cornelis Storm,
funded by FOM, with a consortium including prof. Mummery (Leiden).
ICMS project “Order and Remodeling in Fibrous Biomaterials”, PI Cornelis Storm, funded
by ICMS, with Carlijn Bouten,

Publications:

• Jaap M.J. den Toonder and Patrick R. Onck. Microfluidic manipulation with artificial/
bioinspired cilia. Trends in Biotechnology, February 2013, Vol. 31, No. 2, 85-91.
• Liu, D; Bastiaansen, CWM; Toonder, den JMJ; Broer, DJ: Photo-switchable surface topologies
in chiral nematic coatings (2012). Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 51(4), 892.
• Ravetto, A., Wyss, H.M., Anderson, P.D., Toonder, J.M.J. den & Bouten, C.V.C. (2014).
Monocytic cells become less compressible but more deformable upon activation. PLoS
ONE, 9(3), e92814-1/7.
• van de Stolpe and J. den Toonder: Workshop meeting report Organs-on-Chips: human
disease models, Lab Chip 2013, published online, DOI: 10.1039/c3lc50248a.
• Schenning, APHJ (Albert); Gonzales-Lemus, Y; Shishmanova, IK; Broer, DJ (Dirk): Nanoporous
membranes based on liquid crystalline polymers (2011). Liquid Crystals, 38, 1627.
• W. P. J. Appel, E. W. Meijer, and P. Y. W. Dankers (2011). Enzymatic activity at the surface
of biomaterials via supramolecular anchoring of peptides : the effect of material processing.
Macromolecular Bioscience, 11, 1706-1712.
• Dankers, P.Y.W., Boomker, J.M., Huizinga-van der Vlag, A., Wisse, E., Appel, W.P.J., Smedts,
F.M.M., Harmsen, M.C., Bosman, A.W., Meijer, E.W. & Luyn, M.J.A. van (2011). Bioengineering
of living renal membranes consisting of hierarchical, bioactive supramolecular meshes and
human tubular cells. Biomaterials, 32(3), 723-733.
• Novikova, E.A. and Storm, C.: Contractile fibers and catch-bond clusters: a biological force
sensor?, Biophys. J. 105, 1336-1345 (Sep 17, 2013) .
• Mesta, M., Carvelli, M., de Vries, R.J., van Eersel, H., van der Holst, J.J.M., Schober, M.,
Furno, M., Lüssem, B., Leo, K., Loebl, P., Coehoorn, R. and Bobbert, P.A. Molecular-scale
simulation of electroluminescence in a multilayer white organic light-emitting diode, Nature
Materials 12 (2013), 652.
• C. Storm, J. Pastore, F.C. MacKintosh, T.C. Lubensky and P.A. Janmey: Nonlinear elasticity
in biological gels, Nature 435, 191-194 (May 12, 2005)

• Du, G., Pan, J., Zhao, S., Zhu, Y., Toonder, J.M.J. den & Fang, Q. (2013). Cell-based drug combination screening with a microfluidic droplet array system. Analytical Chemistry, 85(14), 6740-6747. 

• Du, G., Ravetto, A., Fang, Q. & Toonder, J.M.J. den (2011). Cell types can be distinguished by measuring their viscoelastic recovery times using a micro-fluidic device. Biomedical Microdevices, 13(1), 29-40.