In the medical and pharmaceutical fields, study of organs and screening of drugs have conventionally been performed either in-vivo or using unsatisfactory in-vitro models consisting on 2D layers or 3D aggregates of cells coming from immortalized cell lines. Organ-on-chips are revolutionizing such studies by allowing the creation of organ-like platforms providing more physiologically relevant results, with the creation of new organs in a bottom-up approach or by improving the culture conditions for ex-vivo tissues.
We propose to create a platform for the in-vitro spermatogenesis, allowing the culture of pieces of ex-vivo testis tissues, in a miniaturized environment to eventually achieve and study continuous spermatogenesis during an extended period of time.
In this project, the student will design and fabricate a microfluidic system supporting the long-term culture of human or non-human primate testis tissues [1,2], with an access to the tubular lumen to monitor spermatogenesis in real-time during the culture. This work will be performed in collaboration with the Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology in Münster (DE).
Techniques: microfluidic design, microfabrication, microfluidic manipulation, cell culture, tissue culture, cell analysis.
 Komeya, M., Kimura, H., Nakamura, H., Yokonishi, T., Sato, T., Kojima, K., Hayashi, K., Katagiri, K., Yamanaka, H., Sanjo, H., Yao, M., Kamimura, S., Inoue, K., Ogonuki, N., Ogura, A., Fujii, T., Ogawa, T., 2016. Long-term ex vivo maintenance of testis tissues producing fertile sperm in a microfluidic device. Scientific reports 6, 21472. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep21472
 Yamada, A., Renault, R., Chikina, A., Venzac, B., Pereiro, I., Coscoy, S., Verhulsel, M., Parrini, M.C., Villard, C., Viovy, J.-L., Descroix, S., 2016. Transient microfluidic compartmentalization using actionable microfilaments for biochemical assays, cell culture and organs-on-chip. Lab Chip 16, 4691–4701. https://doi.org/10.1039/C6LC01143H