Microfluidic Platform for In Vitro Study on the Development of Cell Therapy
thesisposted on 08.02.2018, 00:00 by Yuan Xing
Cell therapy has emerged as a treatment of many endocrine disorders. Microfluidics has been developed for a myriad of biological applications and the intrinsic capability of controlling and interrogating the cellular microenvironment with unrivalled precision. Development of microfluidic technologies has potentials to address cell-relevant biological phenomena, and aligns capabilities with translational challenges and goals. Human islet transplantation is a promising cell-based therapy for Type I diabetes mellitus (TIDM). We developed a pumpless liquid delivery system driven by surface tension to significantly simplify the microfluidic operation for islet in vitro study. With the new device, an improvement can be achieved with lower material consumption, increased assay sensitivity, accuracy, and higher spatiotemporal resolution. Hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon condition associated with abnormally low levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), leading to low calcium levels in blood and bones and to an increase of serum phosphorus. Allotransplantation of encapsulated parathyroid cells is an alternative treatment without immunosuppressants, while avoiding complications of supplemental therapy. We are able to manipulate the flow in microfluidic channels of our new microencapsulator device and efficiently generate the micro-encapsulated cells (with the size of <100 µm), which can be the answer to the future cell therapy of hypoparathyroidism. Furthermore, cell therapy treatment strategies also include isolation and transfer of specific stem cell populations, administration of effector cells, induction of mature cells to become pluripotent cells, and reprogramming of mature cells. To acquire the sufficient information of cell reprogramming, understand the cell physiological mechanisms, and test the function of potential cellular products, we designed a new perfusion chamber device allowing us to perform the efficient perfusion at the single cell level.