Master Assignments

Characterization of the response of encapsulated MSCs to inflammatory stimuli

Characterization of the response of encapsulated MSCs to inflammatory stimuli

Osteoarthritis is associated with synovitis. One way to decrease the inflammation in the knee joint is by injection of MSCs which secrete anti-inflammatory factors. Several clinical trials using MSCs have already demonstrated positive outcomes in term of disease progression. Although these treatments are very attractive, they are associated with limited efficacy because of the rapid clearance of the MCSs from the synovium. Encapsulation of MSCs in hydrogel matrices is known to not only increase their retention time, but also to influence their in vivo therapeutic effect. Therefore this study aims to determine the optimal biomaterial characteristics and composition for in vivo implantation.

In this assignment you will encapsulate MSCs using a microfluidic chip. After encapsulation you will stimulate the MSCs with varying cytokines. You will then measure the change in response of the encapsulated MSCs to the cytokines, and determine whether there is a difference in the varying biomaterial compositions.

 





Main question
How does the response of encapsulated MSCs to inflammatory stimuli change as a result of the surrounding biomaterial?

Sub questions (in between brackets is for master students only)

  1. How do we get the highest RNA quality from encapsulated MSCs
  2. What is the response on RNA-level of non-encapsulated MSCs to IL-1β, TNF-α and IFN-γ?
  3. What is the response on RNA-level of encapsulated MSCs to IL-1β, TNF-α and IFN-γ?
  4. Do the type of biomaterial and the stiffness influence the response of MSCs?
  5. (What is the response on protein level?)

Techniques (in between brackets is for master students only)

  • (production of microfluidic chips)
  • Encapsulation of MSCs in dexTA and dexHATA microgels
  • MSC cell culture
  • MSC isolation from rat femurs
  • RNA isolation from encapsulated cells
  • PCR
  • (protein dot blot)

Daily supervisor: Ir. Lisanne Karbaat

If you are interested in this assignment, please contact: Dr. Janneke Alers, contact person for all DBE assignments

j.c.alers@utwente.nl