The department of Applied Stem Cell Technologies (AST) is a multi-disciplinary team of biologists and engineers who collaborate on cutting-edge technology and stem cell biology to develop novel applications for biomedical science, toxicology, pharmacology and clinical diagnostics.
With induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology, it is possible to produce stem cells from any person. By culturing the iPS cells in the lab, we can differentiate them to many different types of human tissues.
At AST, we use tools like CRISPR/Cas technology to genetically modify stem cells and produce stem cell-derived tissues that express fluorescent reporter proteins, or that carry specific disease-related genetic mutations. Moreover, we analyze the stem cells and the stem cell-derived tissues both by high-throughput/high-content imaging and by single cell analysis.
Organs-on-chips are realistic laboratory models of human tissues and organs, based on the culture of human cell material in microfluidic devices. Nanosensors and microactuators are integrated in the devices and generate a dynamic and realistic cell culture microenvironment. As a result of this technical-biological integration, organs-on-chips exhibit specific functions that are similar to those found in human organs. At AST, we develop and apply organ-on-chip technology to study the structure and function of human tissues and organs, like blood vessels, the eye and the heart.