Author Archives: hDMT

FDA Report on Advancing Alternative Methods

The FDA’s Alternative Methods Working Group recently published the report Advancing Newe Alternative Methods at FDA. In the report you can read about the activities FDA scientists are undertaking to spur the development of new regulatory approaches that can help improve predictivity – and potentially – replace, reduce or refine animal testing. Dr. Susanne Fitzpatrick, senior advisor for toxicology at FDA about the report: ‘The report entitled Advancing Alternative Methods at FDA was developed by the FDA Alternative Methods Working Group to highlight the significant progress FDA scientists have made in our product centers and offices in laying the groundwork...

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NWA-ORC grant for Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment

In the second round of the Dutch Research Agenda Program: Research along routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC) the project Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment receives a grant of 9.9 million euros for assessing the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals without using laboratory animals. hDMT is closely involved in the project, as are hDMT partners: WUR, Amsterdam UMC, TNO and Leiden University. Imagine a world in which we can accurately test the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals for our health without the use of laboratory animals. Imagine that we know how these substances interact with human biology and physiology and how...

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NWA-ORC grant for Organ-on-Chip models with integrated lymphatics

A 5 million Euro NWA-ORC grant was awarded to hDMT researchers to develop immunocompetent human Organ-on-Chip models with integrated lymph drainage for drug discovery and testing (LymphChip). The project is led by Valeria Orlova (coordinator) from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Christine Mummery (LUMC) and Sue Gibbs (VUMC). The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in our immune system, for example by regulating the immune response to pathogens. Lymphatic dysfunction underlies many diseases and could determine the effectiveness of therapies, whether drug or stem-cell based. Yet, in the new generation of in-vitro organ models used to study the effect of drugs and...

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Booklet on Mini Organs-on-Chips launched

Today the Foundation ‘Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij’ has launched a booklet, entitled ‘Mini Organs-on-Chips. Towards new research models for studying disease and finding treatments’. This new publication in the series of so-called ‘Cahiers’ explains to a large audience, in an easy-to-understand language, what these promising Organs-on-Chips are, and what they can do and cannot (yet) do for health, and wellbeing of society and economy. A state-of-the-art overview is given of what can be expected from this technology, now and in the future. Examples illustrating the potential to improve and accelerate drug development, to enable personalized treatment and to reduce the number...

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Me and My corona

by Katja Wolthers, clinical virologist at Department Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC/AMC. May 18. Only one positive patient in the late-night run, between over a hundred negative test results of the last days in our hospital laboratory. SARS-CoV2, causing Covid-19. It’s like my life as a clinical virologist suddenly became all about just one virus. Did I think I had seen it with the pandemic flu of 2009? Did I think the Ebola outbreak of 2014 was the worst I would ever see? Maybe it was, but SARS-CoV2 is the only virus I’ve seen so far with such an impact on...

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News from the North

by Amalia Dolga, University of Groningen, October 2019 A few years ago, while interviewing for a Rosalind Franklin Fellow position at the University of Groningen, I was asked a very intriguing question by a member of the interview committee: “how could microfluidics contribute to the field of neuroscience?” The questioner was Prof. Elizabeth Verpoorte, and her question gave me a clear picture of the integrative and collaborative research environment in Groningen. This became more concrete over the years that followed as the two of us, together with two Master students, started to build multicompartment microfluidics chambers to grow cells and...

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Erik Danen (Leiden University)

Erik Danen is Professor of Cancer Drug Target Discovery at the Division of Drug Discovery & Safety of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR), Leiden University. What sort of research are you doing? “My research deals with cellular signaling mechanisms in normal and diseased cells and I have a long-standing interest in cell adhesion signaling. How is information from the environment sensed, integrated, and translated into a cellular response? What are the mechanisms controlling whether cells survive and grow or die, whether they move or stay in one place? How do cells respond to changes in their environment, including...

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Regina Luttge (TU/e)

Regina Luttge is chair of the Neuro-Nanoscale Engineering group at TU/e’s Microsystems section and ICMS Institute of Complex Molecular Systems. (photo: ICMS) What sort of research are you doing? “My group works on methods for the temporal and spatial control of the cellular microenvironment by utilizing nano- and microfabrication. Finding appropriate technological control mechanisms is key to developing physiological and clinically relevant solutions for the prevention, relief and cure of human diseases. My research line also covers the general investigation and development of microsystems for medicine and biology. We make microsystems with integrated bio-inspired functionality mediated by down-scaling device features and adjusting material properties...

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Emerging viruses, a new challenge for hDMT?

Organ-on-Chip models for studying virus-host interactions by Barry Rockx, Department of Viroscience, Erasmus University Medical Center December 2018 Over the past few decades, newly emerging viruses have triggered international concern, raised scientific challenges, caused major human suffering and imposed enormous economic damage on an almost yearly basis. Due to the rapid developments in the field of next generation sequencing, more and more new viral sequences are detected in a variety of species every year. While the majority of these viruses will not impact human health, many of the newly emerged viruses that caused large outbreaks in humans in the past...

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Out of your comfort zone

Eye-on-Chip, an emerging theme in hDMT A true story by Andries van der Meer, University of Twente. September 2018 Earlier this year, I organized a workshop together with prof. Anneke den Hollander of the Radboudumc to discuss the challenges and opportunities for organ-on-chip technology to be used in studying, preventing and treating visual impairment and blindness. This ‘Eye-on-Chip Workshop’ was hosted by the DesignLab on the campus of the University of Twente, and was far from your typical scientific meeting. The program was not packed with back-to-back Powerpoint talks, and the participant list was not filled with scientists from a single...

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