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Winner hDMT Junior Researchers Challenges Call 2019: team 3D Blood Vessels-on-Chip

Friday, 29 March

The proposal of the team of Heleen Middelkamp, Mees de Graaf and Aisen de Sá Vivas entitled 3D Blood Vessels-on-Chip Cultured Under Flow has won the hDMT Junior Researchers Challenges Call 2019.

During the third annual hDMT Consortium Meeting, the hDMT Junior Researchers Challenges Call 2019 was launched. The purpose of the call is to encourage junior researchers to submit a project application about a challenge that they have encountered in their research. This project should include plans to solve or overcome that challenge by collaborating with junior researchers from other hDMT partners. In total seven applications were submitted.

The evaluation committee was impressed by the high level of applications: many good collaborations were presented that focused on major breakthroughs in the development of Organ-on-Chip technology. The evaluation committee of the hDMT Junior Call 2019 consisted of Femke de Vrij (Erasmus MC), Andries van der Meer (UTwente) and Nikolas Gaio (TU Delft & BI/OND). Mieke Schutte (hDMT) was standby for conflicts of interest.

The winning proposal for the hDMT Junior Researchers Challenges Call 2019 came from the team of Heleen Middelkamp (BIOS/Lab on a Chip, UTwente), Mees de Graaf (Anatomy and Embryology group, Leiden University) and Aisen de Sá Vivas (Applied Stem Cell Technologies, UTwente). The committee was especially impressed by the team's collaboration and the strong preliminary results. They found the project promising to improve iPSC-based vascular models and to resolve common leakage problems. An advantage is that the developed model can be extended to other OoC research areas.

Aisen Vivas of the team has developed a holder modularity set-up where chips are attached on a holder and perfusion tubing is attached to the chip only once. Mees de Graaf developed a protocol of viscous finger patterning in which several cell types can be cultured simultaneously. Heleen Middelkamp works with 2D vascular models. The proposal combines the expertise of the three team members, to develop 3D structures of iPSC-derived vascular cells on the holder modularity, thus also solving the common problem of medium leakage and culture infections.

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