Study of living cells adhesion using microfluidics technology


Abstract : Microfluidics combines multiple disciplines including biotechnology, micro-technology and physics, and has flourished not only as a technology but as a science. Indeed, the processes involved in biotechnology and microfluidic technologies take place at very small scales (microns to millimetres). This is the case of adhesion between living cells and substrate for analytical tools or between cells themselves for immune system. However, no quantitative characterization of the adhesion forces have been computed so far, while it is crucial in many applications, such as in-line monitoring of cell culture. The aim of the project will be to develop a microfluidic tool to characterize substrate/cell and cell/cell adhesion forces. The system will be such that cells will be attached to the wall of a microchannel in one or two layers, and placed under a controlled shear flow such that the adhesion force could be recovered through the use of numerical simulations of a flow around a deformable body. The work will thus be partly experimental, using soft lithography and fluorescent microscopy, and partly numerical, using computational fluid dynamics tools with moving boundaries (COMSOL).
Promoteur/Supervisor : Prof. Scheid Benoit
Email : bscheid@ulb.ac.be
Site Web/Web site : http://www.tips-ulb.be
Centre de recherche/Research center : TIPs
Faculté/Faculty : Faculté des Sciences appliquées - école polytechnique/Brussels School of Engineering (Faculty of Applied Sciences)
Ecole doctorale/Graduate Colleges : Sciences de l'ingénieur/Engineering
Ecole doctorale thématique/Graduate School (French Only): Phénomènes non-linéaires, systèmes complexes et mécanique statistique



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