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Microfluidic systems for the study of living roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans) and tissues (MEMSforLife)
Date du début: 1 mai 2013, Date de fin: 30 avr. 2018 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

This proposal situated at the interfaces of the microengineering, biological and medical fields aims to develop microfluidic chips for studying living roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans), living cultured liver tissue slices obtained from mice, and formaldehyde/paraffin-fixed human breast cancer tissue slices and tumors. Each type of microfluidic chip will be the central component of a computer-controlled platform having syringe pumps for accurate dosing of reagents and allowing microscopic observation or other types of detection. From an application point-of-view the work is focused on five objectives: (i) Development of high-throughput worm chips. Our goal is to build worm tools that enable high-throughput lifespan and behavioral measurements at single-animal resolution with statistical relevance. (ii) Linking on-chip microparticles (beads) to the C. elegans cuticle. We will use beads with electrostatic surface charges and beads that have a magnetic core for quantification of locomotion and forces developed by the worms. Moreover high-refractive index microspheres will be used as in situ microlenses for optical nanoscopic worm imaging. (iii) Realization of a nanocalorimetric chip-based setup to determine the minute amount of heat produced by worms and comparison of the metabolic activity of wild-type worms and mutants. (iv) Study of precision-cut ex vivo liver tissue slices from mice, in particular to evaluate glucose synthesis. The slices will be perifused with nutrients and oxygen in a continuous way and glucose detection will be based on the electrochemical principle using microfabricated electrodes. (v) On-chip immunohistochemical processing and fluorescent imaging of fixed clinical tissue slices and tumorectomy samples. These systems aim the multiplexed detection of biomarkers on cancerous tissues for fast and accurate clinical diagnosis.