4 joint pilot projects

Four short joint pilot projects have been granted funding (6000 Euro's per project) by the hDMT/NanoInside project 'Organs-on-Chips Technology Platform'. A fifth proposal has not been granted the pilot status, but will be executed as well. The goal of the OoC technology platform is to promote the interaction between hands-on organ-on-chip researchers (students, PhD students or post-docs) from different institutions, as well as the involvement of representatives from relevant private technical partners. 

Towards realistic barriers: Bringing microfabrication and Organ- on-Chips technology together to model cellular barriers

Purpose: to incorporate reproducibly fabricated porous PDMS membranes with tunable thickness and pore size in OOC devices in order to achieve better assembly of the parts. The assembling efficiency will then be validated by incorporation of cells into the device.
Applicants and Collaboration  
Yusuf B. ARIK, PhD Candidate,
University of Twente  
Marinke van der Helm, PhD Candidate, 
University of Twente  
Martijn Tibbe, PhD Candidate, 
University of Twente 
Cinzia Silvestri, PhD Candidate, Delft University of Technology 
William Quiros Solano, PhD Candidate, Delft University of Technology
Researchers from UTwente will contribute with the biological validation and testing of the microfabrication technology provided by Delft University of Technology. Researchers from Delft University of Technology will be then providing their expertise in the design and fabrication of the specific technology (PDMS porous membranes) for modelling cellular barriers.

Cardiomyocytes on (Hy)Acid 

Purpose: development of a human based 3D cardiac model with stem cell derived cardiomyocytes and non-cardiomyocytes embedded in a biopolymer that is degradable over time to allow the cells to reach each other. 
Applicants and Collaboration
Marcelo Catarino Ribeiro, AST department, Post Doc, Leiden University Medical Centre
Bram Zoetebier, DBE department, Post Doc, University of Twente
Marcelo is a biologist working with beating cardiomyocytes and needs a particular biopolymer to assemble the cardiomyocytes into a 3D structure. Bram is a polymer chemist, focusing on the synthesis of biopolymers with different properties.

Use of microfluidic chips with integrated electro-spun scaffolds to generate micro-joints

Purpose: to produce a multilayer fibrous extracellular matrix using electro-spinning, and microfabrication techniques to integrate the matrix membrane inside a microfluidic chip. Subsequently, human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) or chondrocytes will be seeded in the fibrous scaffold while inducing osteogenesis in the lower part of the microfluidic chip and chondrogenesis in the upper part. 
Applicants and Collaboration
Hossein Eslami Amirabadi (PhD student), Eindhoven University of Technology
Yolande F.M. Ramos (postdoctoral fellow), Leiden University Medical Center
Contribution of both parties will be equal, the cellular biological expertise at LUMC and the microfluidic technology available at TU/e will be combined to facilitate the interdisciplinary approach necessary to model organs on a chip.

Membranes for a Heart Valve on a Chip

Purpose: reliable production of an elastic porous membrane which is central to a platform that allows for on‐chip heart valve cultures that can be exposed to both stretch and flow, based on the lung-on-chip device. 
Applicants and Collaboration
Applicants:
Oscar Stassen, Postdoc, Eindhoven University of Technology
Nicole van Engeland, PhD‐student, Eindhoven University of Technology 
Nikolas Gaio, PhD‐student, Delft University of Technology
Supporter: Carlijn Bouten, Eindhoven University of Technology

Extra project: Develop it Together (DIT)

Purpose: developing a platform/database/website where the universities in The Netherlands will share and present their Organ-on-Chip with the other hDMT partners. The platform will (a) promote further collaborations among technical and biology universities, (b) avoid redundancy among Dutch Universities, (c) promote new collaborations among universities and companies, (d) help technical universities to find new applications for their devices, (e) provide to biologists a list of possible devices available for specific applications. 
Applicants and Collaboration 
Sheen Sahebali,  Lab Coordinator/ Senior Scientist, Eindhoven University of Technology
Jelle SLeeboom,  PhD-student, Eindhoven University of Technology
Thijs Pasman, University of Twente, PhD-student
Nikolas Gaio, PhD-student, Delft University of Technology
Harold Raat, Assistant professor, University Medical Center Rotterdam
Yolanda Ramos, Post doctoral scientist, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Within this project all partners of hDMT acknowledge each other’s strengths and share their expertise on a platform thereby facilitating collaborations to create better products and ideas by collaborating from the start.