Expertise and facilities of the applicant, relevant for Organ-on-Chip technology
The Leiden Centre for Applied Bioscience (LCAB) is the research institute of the Faculty of Science & Technology of the University of Applied Sciences Leiden (https://www.hsleiden.nl/lcab). The LCAB consists of six research groups, i.e. Genomebased Health, Metabolomics, Metagenomics, Bioinformatics, Applied Microbiology (per 1- 11-2022) and Food, Health & Innovation. Our aim is to conduct practice-oriented research in the field of Bioscience. We collaborate with companies (in particular SME’s), non-profit organizations and research institutes in research projects. We actively
contribute to the innovation of organizations by conducting practice-oriented research on their current research questions. Further, the LCAB contributes to the training of applied science students to become future-proof professionals by ensuring a good connection with the requirements and wishes of the professional practice.
Our research is seamlessly connected to the educations Biology & Medical Laboratory Research, Bioinformatics and Chemistry. We are located in the Leiden Bioscience Park and therefore surrounded by several OoC-stakeholders.
The content of research at the LCAB is measurement and detection, focusing on biological systems within the themes of biodiversity and health. Therefore, we develop techniques, validate procedures and tools to analyze and interpret data. There is a strong focus on omics-techniques, to which the research facilities of the LCAB are tailored.
The facilities of the LCAB include:
1. An analytical chemical lab with up-to-date and recently purchased GC-MS and LC-MS instruments and an automated sample preparation station.
2. A modern cell culturing facility where advanced cell (co)culturing can be conducted and monitored by various techniques such as flow cytometry, ELISA, western blot and qPCR.
3. A culturomics lab where micro-organisms are cultured (under anaerobic as well as aerobic conditions) and identified.
4. A molecular lab with PCR and DNA sequencing equipment with a focus on Nanopore sequencing.
Our labs are fully dedicated to research and are a valuable addition to the extensive educational laboratories of the faculty.
The staff of the LCAB consists of about 25 FTE including researchers with a PhD, research technicians and a supporting staff.
We have extensive expertise in metabolomics, analytical chemistry (pharmaceutical analysis, pesticide analysis), transcriptomics, metagenomics, advanced cell culturing and bioinformatics. Based on our research activities and results, we provide an important innovation impulse to the educational applied science programs. The teaching staff or our faculty consists of ±100 teachers, often with a PhD in a field relevant for OoC-research.
We are successful in acquiring NWO-SIA research grants intended for practice-oriented research, and we are a partner in several other grants such as NWA-orc and PPSprojects. Within the LCAB, leading lector Peter Lindenburg and program manager Walter Zuijderduin will function as the hDMT-coordinators to ensure connection, integration and networking.
Added value hDMT
An ongoing research line around OoCs already exists at the LCAB (see below). It is our ambition to strengthen this research line and to connect more strongly to this fast expanding research field. We believe we have the facilities, team, and expertise to be valuable as a member of hDMT.
We want to contribute to further acceptance of OoCs for drug development research by developing practically applicable methods. Currently we are mainly focused on analytical chemical methods, but we foresee that we can also contribute in other ways, for example with cell culturing protocols, sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines.
We believe that our added value is that we are not necessarily focused on high scientific impact, but at high practical impact, an aspect that can add to the more fundamental focus of academic research.Furthermore, we want to strengthen the OoC-field with qualified personnel and contribute to the human capital agenda. Besides education of students, we also are skilled in developing courses for professionals in lifelong learning programs
Added value for LCAB/Hogeschool Leiden
Viewed from the side of the LCAB it is very attractive to become a member of hDMT. By doing this we strengthen our connection with the fast-growing OoC research field where our students can contribute as technicians or even entrepreneurs. Via hDMT, we can more easily connect to potential collaborators within research grants.
Relevant (inter)national collaborations, in public and private sector
We are member of the Domain of Applied Science We can use this platform to connect more Universities of Applied Science to hDMT and are looking forward to attribute to the networking.
Within our OoC-research projects (see below) we collaborate with
• TNO, department Human Biology & Microbiology
• Leiden University, LACDR
• University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, research group Innovative Testing in Life
• LUMC, Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Toxicology
• Centre for Human Drug Research Leiden
• Stichting Proefdiervrij
Embedding of Organ-on-Chip technology in research policy
At the LCAB we conduct multidisciplinary research which is centered around measuring and detecting bio-indicators in a wide range of biological contexts. To follow our internal research guidelines, at least two of our research groups should be involved in research projects to ensure multidisciplinarity. Since 2018, OoC-related research is being conducted in the LCAB (see below). In our labs we have invested in technology relevant to OoCs.
For instance, a modern cell culturing facility has recently been opened. Further,
the past years we have set up a very well equipped analytical-chemical lab where we develop automated sample handling, preparation and analysis. Since we have these facilities, we are exploring the possibilities to set up a new research group around advanced cell culturing.
Three relevant key publications (PDF)
At this moment we cannot present a list of three key publications, as we have only just entered the OoC-research field. In general, our main goal is not focused on scientific publications but on answering practical research questions from our collaborators.
Leading lector Peter Lindenburg comes from the Hankemeier lab, from which Mimetas originated. In this capacity he contributed to the article ‘Lab-on-a-Chip hyphenation with mass spectrometry: strategies for bioanalytical applications. A Oedit, P Vulto, R Ramautar, PW Lindenburg, T Hankemeier. Current opinion in biotechnology 31, 79-85.
Three relevant grants
1. Liver-on-a-chip: Ontwikkeling van meetmethoden om biotransformatie van
geneesmiddelen in livers-on-chips te bepalen (2018)
2. Ontwikkeling van analytisch-chemische workflow voor drug screening in guts-on-chips (2020)
3. We were, as WP-leader ‘Metabolomic, signalling, and SMART readouts, and
advanced imaging of iChip models’, part of the NWA-ORC grant proposal ‘iChip:
next generation models for cancer immunotherapy’ led by John Martens of
Erasmus University, which received favorable reviews but stranded after the
4. We are partner in NWA-ORC project LS-Neo-CarE, where we contribute with
advanced cell culturing to developing regenerative medicine approaches for
5. We currently await the reviewer reports of the RAAK-Pro grant AC/OC:
Ontwikkeling van Analytisch-Chemische methodes voor geneesmiddelonderzoek
met Organs-on-Chips, led by Peter Lindenburg, in which we will strongly
collaborate with TNO and Mimetas for four years and develop a minor ‘OoC-technology’ (2022)