Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


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Microfluidic flow of biomimetic tissues obtained by the controlled assembly of red blood cells

par Christelle EVE - publié le

Master (M2 or M1) internship :

The Soft Matter team at L2C (University of Montpellier), offers the possibility of supervising a Master internship on the ¨Microfluidic flow of biomimetic tissues¨. It will be supervised by Dr. Laura Casanellas, and the candidate will work in close collaboration with a PhD student in the laboratory. The internship is for a period of 4 to 6 months, starting on January or February 2020. The internship is remunerated, at the rate set by the University of Montpellier.

Project description
The aim of this project is to design a biomimetic cohesive tissue, with a tunable degree of internal adhesion, and determine its flow behavior in controlled microfluidic settings. The final goal of our study is to elucidate, by means of a biomimetic system, the role of cellular adhesion on the flow of epithelial tissues, which plays a relevant role in embryogenesis or tumor metastasis. The artificial tissue is obtained by the controlled assembly of red blood cells, which constitute a suitable model system due to its interesting mechanical properties. Intercellular adhesion is mediated by the inclusion of lectin, which allows us to control the occurrence (or not) of cell-cell assembly as well as the typical size of the formed aggregates. Aspiration experiments in microfluidic constrictions are performed in order to characterize the flow behavior of the designed tissues. Our preliminary results show that, depending on the aspect ratio between the aggregate and the constriction size, the tissue adopts different strategies in order to advance through the constriction : aggregate reorientation, flow localization, or cell deformation.
The Master student will first work on the optimization of the design of the artificial tissue by the controlled assembly of red blood cells. Next, he/she will focus on the realization of flow experiments of the developed tissues in microfluidic chips with constriction geometries. The size of the constriction and the imposed pressure difference will be varied systematically in order to characterize the flow response of the tissue. Finally, image velocimetry methods will be developed in order to quantitatively determine the spatio-temporal dynamics of the flow.
Profile of the candidate
We are looking for a motivated candidate willing to carry on experimental research in a multi-disciplinary framework. Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree in Physics, Biophysics or Physical Chemistry (or related disciplines). Previous knowledge in image analysis, microscopy and/or microfluidics will be highly appreciated.

Responsable : Laura Casanellas