UTTechMedTechMed CentreNewsRubicon grant for Ruben Kolkman

Rubicon grant for Ruben Kolkman

Ruben Kolkman, former researcher at the University of Twente, receives a Rubicon grant to spend two years conducting pioneering research on keeping the amount of nutrients and waste products equal in organs-on-a-chip platforms at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kolkman is one of 14 recently promoted researchers to receive funding from NWO and ZonMW. The Rubicon grant allows young, highly promising researchers to further develop as scientists at a top university abroad.

With the Rubicon grant, Kolkman aims to improve the accuracy with which such technologies mimic the behaviour of organs in the body. Using small pieces of organs on a chip reduces the number of animals and test subjects needed, for example, to develop new drugs. Like the organs in the human body, organs-on-a-chip need nutrition and produce waste products that must be disposed of.

The human body can keep nutrient and waste levels reasonably constant, but in organs-on-a-chip platforms, this is not yet possible. This is a potentially limiting limitation of these platforms. In this research, Kolkman will develop new biosensors that can continuously measure the amount of different types of nutrients and waste products. Integrating these biosensors into organs-on-a-chip platforms will make it possible to determine the right moment to add new nutrients and remove waste products.

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Dr Ruben Kolkman received his PhD in December 2022 for his research to enable cancer detection in urine using DNA. Kolkman conducted his research in the Molecular NanoFabrication group and the BIOS Lab on a Chip group where he was supervised by Prof J. Huskens (Faculty of S&T) and Prof L.I. Segerink (Faculty of EEMCS). Both groups are also part of the TechMed Centre at the University of Twente.

K.W. Wesselink - Schram MSc (Kees)
Science Communication Officer (available Mon-Fri)