The biological environment in vivo is multifaceted and the action of the different cues is difficult to reproduce in vitro without the aid of advanced technological tools. Our lab develops technological solutions for mimicking the in vivo pathophysiology or as means to test biological hypotheses.

Dynamic control of soluble cell culture environment

Soluble signals play a role in cell processes not only through their chemical identity, but also depending on their dynamic concentration. Microfluidic devices allow accurate control of culture soluble microenvironment both in space and time. We have developed systems for long-term automated microfluidic cell culture and for biochemical stimulations with high-temporal resolution.

Microfluidics
Dynamic cell culture stimulation in microfluidics.

Oxygen control in culture

Oxygen concentration is tightly controlled in vivo and is key in multiple cellular processes and tissue development. Thanks to the high surface-to-volume ratio within microfluidic systems, we have developed a micro-scale gas exchanger that makes possible rapid and accurate oxygen concentration changes. Moreover we have developed a micro-scale system for performing cell culture under a stable oxygen concentration gradient.

Gas exchangerMicrofluidic gas exchanger.

Mechanical functional assays

Mechanical forces are especially important in cardiac and skeletal muscles, and are strongly affected under pathological conditions such as arrhythmias and dystrophies. We developed a stretch-stress device to dissect the effect of dynamic mechanical stimulation on a cell culture, for example to perform tests of membrane integrity. Moreover, we developed an experimental system to measure the force exerted by cardiomyocytes at the single cell level.
Stretcher

Cell culture stretching device.

Contact

Office: +39-049-827-5469
Lab (DII): +39-049-827-5467
Lab (VIMM): +39-049-7923-219
Fax: +39-049-827-5461
nicola.elvassore@unipd.it

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