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MIRA SRO UPDATE

SRO Biomedical Devices – Loes Segerink

‘In summer 2014 I was officially appointed as coordinator of the SRO ‘Biomedical microdevices’. A great opportunity for me to take a look behind the scenes of MIRA, while also looking for possible new collaborations and research projects in the topic microfluidic systems for (bio)-medical applications.

Since I was the first SRO person at this institute, it was quite new for everyone and I had to find my way. Talks with a lot of people, gave me an overview of the various work done on the interface between microtechnology and biology. The different areas of expertise are now collected and I will summarize these on the SRO website. I am not only talking with people from the institute, but also from other institutes, universities and hospitals. For example MESA+ is now also focusing on early disease detection, and combining their expertise with that of MIRA will definitely strengthen the research.  

Currently I am inviting interesting speakers for MIRA talks, which will start in the beginning of 2016. Together with our participation in the Batavierenrace (interested? please contact me) together with MESA, I think the first step is made in increasing the knowledge of biological systems and improving the diagnostics and treatment of diseases.’

SRO Organs on chips – Andries van der Meer

‘Just before the summer of 2015, I returned from the United States to continue my research on vascular disease in organs-on-chips and to stimulate the further development of organ-on-chip technology at MIRA as coordinator the SRO ‘Organs-on-Chips’.

Organs-on-chips are microfluidic systems with human cells that can be used as laboratory models in research of human diseases. The chips are unique in their far-reaching integration of biology and technology. At MIRA, we have an ideal background to become pioneers in the development of this exciting and upcoming technology: we have in-house experts in key fields like biomaterials science, sensor systems, microengineering and imaging. Moreover, with the recently established department of Applied Stem Cell Technologies, we have bolstered our expertise in cell biology – a key component of organ-on-chip technology.

In my first few months, I have interacted with a lot of our in-house experts on biomaterials, sensors and early technology assessment. We have even written and submitted our first joint project proposals on organ-on-chip technology already. Moreover, I have set up a website to promote further interaction between MIRA scientists who are interested in applying their technology in the field of organs-on-chips. The LinkedIn group of the SRO already has over 50 members and is a platform for lively discussions.

Early in the summer, we organized a MIRA Seminar with Tony Bahinski, an expert in the field of organs-on-chips from the Wyss Institute in Boston (https://wyss.harvard.edu). The seminar was very well-attended, and now that the academic year has started again, I’m planning to organize regular discussion meetings on organs-on-chips with internal speakers and the occasional external guest.

Check out the SRO website and join the LinkedIn group to stay up-to-date on the latest developments!’