Regenerative Medicine Utrecht

Internships for Master students

Organoids, endothelial cells, 3D printed microdevices – Coffer group

A novel coculture system for organoids and endothelial cells employing 3D printed microdevices.

Contact person: Dr. Guy Roukens (m.g.roukens-2@umcutrecht.nl), Prof. Dr. Paul Coffer (p.j.coffer@umcutrecht.nl)

The development of organoids has revolutionized tissue culturing with great implications for the study of organ development and tumor progression. Organoids are self-organizing mini-organs that generally faithfully recapitulate the cellular hierarchy of normal organs. However current organoid systems lack the interaction with other cell types, such as immune cells, fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells. In this project we will aim to develop a novel microfluidics-based co-culture system between organoids and endothelial cells. For this we will employ microdevices that are developed in house, in which vascular endothelial cells can form small lumenized vessels. These vessels can be connected to 2 entryports to allow perfusion of these vessels. Experiments will be performed to investigate what conditions (matrix, growth factors) are required to allow co-culturing of organoids in this system. Once this is established the aim is to stimulate the vessels to grow into the organoids, thus creating perfused organoids. Finally, once the system has been setup we will employ tumor organoids to understand how tumors activate angiogenesis and how they can intravasate in and extravasate out of blood vessels.

The student will become experienced in cell biological techniques, particularly organoid culture, but will also be involved in optimization of 3D-printed microdevices.