University of Twente Student Theses


Genomic profiling of sex-specific differences in an osteoarthritis-on-chip model : design of an organ-on-a-chip holder

Vos, R.T. (2023) Genomic profiling of sex-specific differences in an osteoarthritis-on-chip model : design of an organ-on-a-chip holder.

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Abstract:Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex musculoskeletal disease, and it affected 7% of the global population in 2019. Gender differences regarding OA have received limited research attention thus far, and further investigation is required to understand the underlying mechanisms. This study used an innovative organ-on-a-chip technology to explore gender differences in OA. In this way a more representative and physiological model was used compared to existing approaches. To enable simultaneous perfusion of multiple chips, the design of a specialized holder was developed. This holder enhanced the research throughput and transportability of microfluidic systems. The chip-holder, waste tube holder, and baseplate were designed using SolidWorks software. The final design successfully achieved most of the intended aims and requirements. This offers promising possibilities for organs-on-chips perfusion experiments in the future. However, some minor limitations were observed, such as challenges in focusing cells under a microscope due to plate thickness and the stiffness of tubing causing slides to lift. The newly designed holder was used for perfusion over three days with pro-inflammatory cytokines to obtain gene expression profiles of two donors with OA. The findings indicated potential differences in gene expression between men and postmenopausal women. The ESR1, IL-1β, MMP9, and RANKL were expressed by the female donor but not by the male donor. Conversely, SP7 and TLR4 were expressed by the male donor and not by the female donor. However, the study had some limitations and emphasized the need for obtaining a larger group of donors to create more reliable evidence. This study is part of a larger research project that involved the influence of inflammatory stimuli on the gene expression of osteoblast and chondrocyte cells. Moreover, the study's findings lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of gender differences in OA. This is crucial for the development of personalized and effective treatment strategies. Particularly because the global population ages and healthcare demands continue to rise.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:42 biology, 50 technical science in general
Programme:Biomedical Technology BSc (56226)
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