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PhD defence P.E. Oomen

When:Fr 16-12-2016 at 11:00
Where:Academy Building

Small systems, small sensors

Integrating sensing technologies into microfluidic and organ-on-a-chip devices

In his thesis, Pieter Oomen presents different microfluidic systems with integrated sensors for biological and chemical analysis. Such miniaturized systems hold many benefits: reagent and sample use is reduced, parallel experiments can be run on a single device, or culture incubation systems can be made that mimic natural cellular environments (organs-on-chips). However, in order to maintain control over such systems and systematically improve them during development, quantitative information should be gathered in an on-line fashion. Besides this problem, Oomen worked on improving the user-friendliness of microfluidic systems and concepts.

The first part of the thesis focusses on the use of sensors in organs-on-chip devices. First, a generic, easy-to-use system is presented, which allows cultivation of two different liver models under flow: 3D cell cultures and precision-cut liver slices. These kind of liver models can potentially be used to study metabolism and toxicity of (novel) drug compounds. This system was subsequently used by Oomen to measure the oxygen consumption rate of liver slices using integrated sensors, granting researchers on-line information on this important parameter.

In the second part, gold nanowires were suspended in microchannels. They can be used as flow sensors, but also as electrochemical sensors with high sensitivity. These wires have many potential applications as sensors in microfluidic devices.

In the final part, Oomen used 3D printing to develop a system for the manipulation of microliter-sized droplets over an open surface. The thesis is concluded with a thorough study of 3D printing technique in a lab working with miniaturized systems.

Dissertation

Promotors: prof. dr. E.M.J. (Sabeth) Verpoorte, prof. dr. G.M.M. (Geny) Groothuis