Laura Serioli Øland

PhD defence by Laura Serioli Øland

On Tuesday 1 December, Laura Serioli Øland will defend her PhD thesis "Centrifugal microfluidics for cell-based assays in flow".

Time: 13:00
Place: Zoom, please register here:

Principal supervisor: Professor Anja Boisen
Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Kinga Zor

Professor Jenny Emnéus, DTU Bioengineering
Professor Thomas Bjarnsholt, Copenhagen University
Associate Professor David Kinahan, School of Mechanical
Enigneering, Ireland

'Chairperson at defence:
Associate Professor En Te Hwu

During the years biological models, such as in vitro cell cultures, have been developed and widely used for studying basic cellular behavior and for modelling human organs and diseases. Prior to animal experiments, cell-based assays have an important role in pre-clinical screening in the drug discovery process.

Nowadays, there are several well defined methods and assays for culturing cells in vitro. Commonly, mammalian and bacterial cells are cultured using petri dishes or flasks where they grow in culture medium in static. Even if, these are considered the “gold standard” for cell growth, they are far from reproducing the in vivo microenvironment, which often leads to incomparable or inconsistent results between in vivo and in vitro studies. Perfusion models, where cells can be grown under flow condition, were introduced, since was proven that this dynamic condition better mimics and reproduces certain aspects of the in vivo environment.

There are a variety of microfluidic, Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC), cell culture systems, where cells are grown in a small footprint (chip), using only a few mL growth medium, while nutrients are delivered and waste products are constantly removed from the culture chamber. Despite the advantages of integrating complete assays on a chip and conducting experiments in dynamic conditions, most LoC cell culture systems rely on auxiliary, costly experimental set-up (e.g. pump) for fluid actuation and require a trained personnel to operate them.

In this Ph.D. project, as a promising alternative to LoC, centrifugal microfluidics or Lab-on-a-Disc (LoD) has been chosen to develop a platform that enables long-term cell culture in flow. Centrifugal microfluidic platforms only need a simple motor to actuate the liquid, which flows through microchannels and chambers fabricated on a disc-shaped device.

The main outcome of this work was the establishment of the first compact LoD platform, which facilitates cell growth for several days. This in vitro platform has been successfully used for culturing both bacterial and mammalian cells, for carrying out the testing of the efficacy of different antibiotic treatments on bacterial biofilms as well as for performing cytotoxicity assay with mammalian cells. Additionally, the developed LoD was integrated with a novel miniaturized microscope, which made possible the detection of the growth of mammalian cells in real-time. The in vitro system has proved to be reliable, robust and has the potential to become an essential device in the first steps of drug screening and for diagnostic purposes.



tir 01 dec 20
13:00 - 17:00


DTU Sundhedsteknologi