University of Twente Student Theses


Towards an integrated Microbiome-gut-brain axis on-chip platform.

Garcia-Corral, Mariana (2020) Towards an integrated Microbiome-gut-brain axis on-chip platform.

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Abstract:Recently, the close and constant dialogue between the brain, gut, and bacteria residing within it, known as the microbiome-gut-brain axis (MGBA), has been highlighted for its role modulating homeostasis. Animal models are too complex to accurately analyze the effects of individual MGBA components, whereas current in-vitro models achieve physiologically relevant complexity but still face challenges regarding manipulability and analysis. The main objectives for this master’s thesis were to design and develop a microfluidic platform that enables the compartmentalized culture of various MGBA components, ensuring their fluidic communication and recapitulation of the axis’ essential elements. Moreover, it aimed to differentiate enteric nervous system neurons from human embryonic stem cells by adapting and optimizing a previously established protocol. The results obtained during this thesis include a prototype of the MGBA-on-chip platform which can achieve mechanical deformation, cellular compartmentalization and fluidic communication. Additionally, embryonic stem cells were successfully differentiated into immature enteric neurons responsive to extracellular environment changes. Notwithstanding, further optimization of the microfluidic platform is required to ensure its proper functioning as is further optimization of embryonic stem cell differentiation to increase induction efficiency. The results obtained during this thesis lay the groundwork for subsequent versions of the MGBA on chip platform.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:42 biology
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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