We have an open position for a Postdoctoral Scholarship in the Wallenberg funded project ‘Organs-on-Chips for Translational Research in Brain Disease’. More details can be found here.
Our recent research article titled ‘Low-cost microphysiological systems: feasibility study of a tape-based barrier-on-chip for small intestine modeling‘ which was published in Lab on a Chip earlier this year, was featured in the News and Views section of the journal ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals).
Organs-on-Chips will be critical to reducing animal experiments in the future. There are many challenges still to overcome toward their widespread use, one important challenge being the high cost and complexity of manufacturing current systems, both commercially or in an academic setting. In our work, we showcase a functional Barrier-on-Chip of the small intestine, fabricated using very simple and low-cost methods that practically anyone can implement in their lab, but that can also be adapted to large-scale industrial manufacture. We hope that this can make Barrier-on-Chip technology much more broadly accessible, particularly to researchers and prototypers in low-resource environments.Comments from Prof. Anna Herland on the feature in ATLA
Violetta Nikiforova joins the Herland group as our newest master’s student. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s programme in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet. For her thesis, she will be working with Xenia on the development and validation of novel in-vitro models for adverse effects on the human neurovascular unit.
Prof. Anna Herland was one of the awardees of the Wallenberg Academy Fellows Prolongation Grant 2020 by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for her work on “brain-on-a-chip” models. Congratulations Prof. Herland!
Professor Anna Herland was recently appointed as a member of the editorial board of Stem Cell Reports. Congratulations Anna!
Today, Saskia Ludwig and Eleni Stergiou join the Herland group as our newest Master’s students. Saskia is pursuing a Master’s degree in Fundamental Neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and will work on her thesis with Isabelle on spontaneous differentiation of neuroepithelial stem cells in 3D hydrogels at KTH. Eleni is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Molecular Medicine at Uppsala University and will work on her thesis with Xenia on the development of hiPSC-based in-vitro models of neurovascular unit for screening and investigation of novel drug modalities.
Thomas presented a poster at MicroTAS 2020 titled ‘Continuous Monitoring of Isogenic Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in a PDMS-Free Microphysiological System’. The video is courtesy of Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society.
An extensive review article “Recent progress in translational engineered in vitro models of the central nervous system” was published in Brain today. Together with Ben M.Maoz and his group at the Tel Aviv University, we discuss the recent developments in in-vitro CNS models with focus on combined microfluidics and cell culture systems (e.g. ‘organ-on-a-chip’ systems). The article also highlights the challenges hindering the advancement of this field and its large-scale acceptance and implementation and underlines some practical guidelines for labs venturing into this field.
The perspective article “LifeTime and improving European healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine” was published in Nature today. The LifeTime Initiative consists of experts from varied disciplines from over ninety research institutes from all over the EU. The initiative aims to develop and integrate novel technologies such as patient-derived experimental disease models, single-cell multi-omics, high content imaging and artificial intelligence to address the current medical challenges and incorporate them into regular laboratory and clinical workflows resulting in a great benefit for healthcare providers and patients alike.
The article “Proteomic and Metabolomic Characterization of Human Neurovascular Unit Cells in Response to Methamphetamine” was published in the Advanced Biosystems today. The research highlights the effect of methamphetamine on the proteomic and metabolomic properties of constituent cells of the neurovascular unit, especially those of human pericytes not reported previously. This work presents new pathways that are active in the cells at homeostasis and as a response to Meth, which could be important when studying the detrimental effects of Meth intoxication on the CNS.
The review article “Models of the blood-brain barrier using iPSC-derived cells” was published in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience today. The article discusses the capability for the use of human iPSC- derived brain cells for modelling the blood-brain barrier (BBB) over the conventionally used immortalized brain endothelial cell lines and primary brain endothelial cells of human and animal origin. The review highlights the essential functions of the BBB and the ongoing efforts in the creation of iPSC-derived BBB models along with the key requirements and challenges faced currently.
The article “Low-Cost PVD Shadow Masks with Submillimeter Resolution from Laser-Cut Paper” was published in Micromachines today. The research highlights an affordable method to produce shadow masks for physical vapor deposition using cellulose filter paper and CO2 laser processing. These masks are shown to be stable and resilient in processing and handling. This method holds a lot of potential for a range of applications such as electrochemical cells and contact pads for organic electronic materials where submillimeter PVD features are required.
The article “Electrochemical Detection of Genomic DNA Utilizing Recombinase Polymerase Amplification and Stem-Loop Probe” was published in the ACS Omega today. The research illustrates a method to integrate isothermal DNA amplification, recombinase polymerase amplification to an electrochemical stem-loop probe DNA detection technique while reducing the need for purification of the amplified product and improving the sensitivity and limit of detection.
The article “Bactericidal surfaces prepared by femtosecond laser patterning and layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte coating” was published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science today. The research focusses on the modification of borosilicate glass surfaces through µm-scale patterning using ultrashort pulsed laser irradiation and a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte modification of the surface with charge values at least 10 times lower than the previously reported cationic bactericidal surfaces. This method yields enhanced bactericidal effect against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, holding immense potential in the field of hygiene products and medical devices.
The article “hiPS‐Derived Astroglia Model Show Temporal Transcriptomic Profile Related to Human Neural Development and Glia Competence Acquisition of a Maturing Astrocytic Identity” was published in the Advanced Biosystems today. The research highlights the directed differentiation of neuroepithelial stem cells undergoing a neurogenic-to-gliogenic competence. This NES-Astro model can be used for detailed mechanistic studies of RG and astrocyte development under normal conditions in addition to disease models.
The article “Low-cost microphysiological systems: Feasibility study of a tape-based barrier-on-chip system for small intestine modeling” was published in Lab on a Chip today. The research highlights the use of simple double-sided tape to assemble an organ-on-a-chip system with human gut as a model, replacing the typically used expensive techniques and materials. This method will prove to be a robust and reproducible approach to studying physiological barriers, promising faster development of new drugs and precision and personalized medicine.
Congratulations to our postdoc Erica Zeglio on being accepted to the prestigious 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, taking place from 28 June to 3 July 2020, in Lindau, Germany!
The article “Generation of a Human iPSC-Based Blood-Brain Barrier Chip” was published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) today. The research illustrates the possibility to combine organ-on-chip and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies to generate a BBB chip fully personalized to human barrier formation on a functional and transcriptional level.
Two new articles on multi-organ in-vitro models developed in collaboration with the Wyss Institute were just published in Nature Biomedical Engineering as part of a collection on Microphysiological Systems: “Quantitative prediction of human pharmacokinetic responses to drugs via fluidically coupled vascularized organ chips” and “Robotic fluidic coupling and interrogation of multiple vascularized organ chips“. These platforms could drastically accelerate drug testing and provide accurate predictions of drug effects prior to clinical testing.
Thomas pitched his (and the lab’s) research at the Marie Curie Falling Walls Lab in Brussels as part of the European Research and Innovation Days. He and the other 29 participants (selected from over 200 applicants) got the opportunity to present their research to a broad audience – in under 3 minutes each.
If you missed the live stream, you can watch his pitch here. The video is courtesy of the European Commission.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
We currently have open positions available at all levels from Postdocs to Internships. Take a look here.
Over the summer, Saumey Jain and Sebastian Buchmann have joined the Herland group as our newest PhD students. Saumey, who received his M.Sc. from KTH, is co-supervised by Prof. Frank Niklaus and will be working on nanopore sequencing. Sebastian, who graduated from the University of Basel, is co-supervised by Prof. Max Hamedi and will be working on organic electronic sensing and stimulation.
The KTH team spent two engaging & enjoyable days in Graz, Austria, at the European Organ-on-Chip conference.
Isabelle & Dimitris presented posters with their latest research results. Dimitris won one of four Travel Grants with his poster.
Thomas gave the Highlighted Presentation in the session on “Materials, analytics and in-line sensing”. His talk was awarded Best Paper at the closing ceremony.
Prof. Herland gives Keynote lecture
Our expansive review paper “Conjugated Polymers for Assessing and Controlling Biological Functions” was published in Advanced Materials today. The article will be part of an issue dedicated to Professor Olle Inganäs (Linköping University) on the occasion of his Professor Emeritus title. Together with A.L. Rutz and G.G. Malliaras at the University of Cambridge, we discuss the use of conjugated polymer materials in five biologically oriented research topics: electrophysiology, tissue engineering, drug release, biosensing, and molecular bioelectronics.
The Swedish Research Council (VR) awarded grants to 47 researchers at KTH, including 3.8 million SEK to Prof. Herland. She was interviewed for the occasion by the KTH press office (Swedish only).
The article “Barrier properties and transcriptome expression in human iPSC‐derived models of the blood–brain barrier” was published in Stem Cells today. The research illustrates how co‐culture of iPS-derived endothelial cells with pericytes, astrocytes and neurons promotes barrier formation on a functional and transcriptional level.
The article “A linked organ-on-chip model of the human neurovascular unit reveals the metabolic coupling of endothelial and neuronal cells” was published in Nature Neuroscience today. The research illustrates how fluidically linked Blood-Brain Barrier and Brain Organ Chips offer new methods for studying the effects of drugs and disease on the brain and its blood vessels.
Congratulations to our Postdoc Polyxeni Nikolakopoulou on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis at the Technische Universität Dresden!
Today, Simon Feillée joins the Herland group as our newest internship student. He is pursuing a degree at Mines Paristech in France, and for her internship project will be working with Isabelle and Thomas on the controlling the surface chemistry of a novel polymer for microfluidic device fabrication.
Congratulations to our Master’s thesis student Dimitri Wirjowerdojo on successfully defending his thesis “Evaluation of Hypoxia-induced Astrocytic Commitment of Neuroepithelial Stem Cells”.
The Wallenberg Foundation has published an article featuring Prof. Herland and her research (Swedish only).
Congratulations to our Master’s thesis student Vladimir Banovic on successfully defending his thesis “Real-Time Monitoring of Neurovascular Cells”.
Today, Eva Stronkman joins the Herland group as our newest ERASMUS+ internship student. She is pursuing a degree at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and for her internship project will be working with Thomas on the novel device fabrication methods for brain on a chip devices.
Congratulations to our postdoc Thomas Winkler on being awarded a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship by the European Commission for his work on “NeuroVU: Real-time Sensing in Microfluidic Models of the Neurovascular Unit”.
Today, Dimitri Wirjowerdojo joins the Herland group as our newest Master’s student. He is getting his degree in Molecular Techniques in Life Science, and for his thesis work will be working with Dimitrios on the evaluation of hypoxia-induced astrocytic commitment of neuroepithelial stem cells.
Today, Polyxenia Nikolakopoulou joins the Herland group as our newest Postdoctoral Fellow. She will be based at KI, working on human stem cell-derived microglia in models of neuro-inflammation.