Xiaolin Zhang
Email: x.zhang@amc.uva.nl
Joined project with the University of Amsterdam

Imaging Biomaterial-associated Immune-responses and infection using zebrafish analysis

The aim of my project is to develop zebrafish whole-animal models with high throughput screening capacity in order to assess immune responses and susceptibility to infection of biomaterials. The zebrafish is an excellent whole animal model since they are translucent, so the immune response and infection could be imaged microscopically in real time. So as to achieve this goal, first of all, some fluorescent microspheres will be injected into the animal model as the foreign materials. Those microspheres incorporate hydrophobic or hydrophilic fluorescent dyes could be prepared by oil in water (O/W) emulsion or water in oil in water (W/O/W) emulsion solvent evaporation technique. Many parameters can affect characteristics of the resulting microspheres such as the size and morphology, etc. Therefore, the type of polymer (e.g, poly (ε-carpolactone), poly (trimethylene carbonate), poly (lactic acid)), molecular weight of polymer, concentration of polymer solution, concentration of emulsifier, stirring rate, type and concentration of fluorescent dyes and so on will be investigated and/ or optimized to obtain fluorescently visible microspheres within the size range of 20-30 µm. At later stage, an intriguing membrane technology will be utilized further to produce monodisperse particles. Ultimately, the successfully built-up animal model with high screening system will be used to develop a novel delivery system for antimicrobials which can correct the immune dysfunction and enhance the infection-resistance.