AA - Materials and Processes for Micro and Nano Technologies
Development of an in vitro 3D model of lung tissue.
External reference persons Simone Marasso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chiara Tonda Turo (email@example.com)
Thesis type EXPERIMENTAL
The use of extracellular membrane-like substrates (ECM-like) is essential to recreate the cell-matrix interaction that modulates the biological activity of tissues. In this context, the engineering of in vitro organs capable of mimicking physiological processes requires complex work that integrates skills in various sectors ranging from engineering to the natural sciences. The goal of this thesis work is to create healthy and pathological lung models to identify biomarkers that can allow for an early diagnosis of the disease and can help doctors define the optimal care for the individual patient (personalized medicine). In this context, the realization of biomimetic structures obtained through conventional (electrospinning) and unconventional (bioprinting) manufacturing methods allows to create physiological-like environments capable of guiding and directing the cellular organization in an increasingly similar way to the real context. . The development of an in vitro model of a physiological-like lung also allows us to evaluate the effect of external contaminations such as viruses and bacteria. In this context, the lung model created could become an effective tool in analyzing the interaction of lung epithelial cells with the Covid-19 virus, allowing for detailed information on the evolution of the disease in healthy patients or with previous diseases.
PURPOSE OF THE THESIS
Biomimetic nanofibers based on synthetic and natural polymers will be produced by electrospinning and characterized from a physico-chemical and mechanical point of view. Biomimetic hydrogels capable of incapulating lung fibroblasts will be included in the device to mimic the stromal component. The substrates made (nanofibers and hydrogels) will be combined with appropriate technologies deriving from the lab-on-a-chip in order to integrate the morphology and composition of the natural ECM with the stimuli of the physiological environment such as mechanical stimuli associated with breathing. To this end, microfluidic devices will be manufactured and implemented with a system that allows the implementation of a mechanical stimulation of the polymer nanofibers.
Methods and phases of work
Initially, the graduate student will research the subject through in-depth bibliographic research, which will continue throughout the thesis period. Subsequently, the student will focus on the design of the device by defining the key elements of the design and the optimal dimensional and structural characteristics, first validating them through an implementation in silico and subsequently experimentally. For the experimental phase, the student will initially be supported by a tutor; later, he will work independently, as soon as he has acquired a good control of the execution of the experimental tests. Place of work: Turin (Turin Polytechnic headquarters) and Chivasso (Chilab).
Notes Max 2 graduation exams remaining
Deadline 16/05/2023 PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA