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Artery-on-a-Chip: A Scalable Microfluidic Strategy for Probing Small Blood Vessel Structure and Function

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Seminar Details
Presenter Name: 
Axel Guenther
Date: 
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Kaiser 2020
Seminar Abstract: 

Small blood vessels are crucial constituents of the vascular system with a structure and function that is closely linked to important questions in cardiovascular health and disease.
Although pathologic changes to the structure and function of small blood vessels are hallmarks of various cardiovascular diseases, a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms is not currently available, due in part to the limited throughput of conventional investigation methods (i.e., myography) and the very large size of the relevant parameter space.
I will present to our knowledge the first microfluidic platform for the investigation of an intact organ that allows resistance arteries to be studied under near-physiological conditions. The artery-on-a-chip platform was developed in collaboration with Dr. Steffen-Sebastian Bolz (Department of Physiology) and is currently being commercialized in Canada. Our microfluidic approach comprises of on-chip fixation, long-term culture and the fully-automated acquisition of dose-response sequences. Automated functional measurements are obtained for segments of mouse mesenteric arteries. Devices were fabricated using standard soft lithographic techniques and provided excellent spatiotemporal control over the chemical milieu at the luminal and abluminal sides of the arteries. I close with illustrating an approach for automated staining of cerebral artery segments and highlight strategies for the systematic exploration of calcium and vasomotor dynamics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATwEGKlHwK8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Presenter Biography: 

Dr. Guenther is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering with cross-appointment to the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He obtained his doctoral degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is recipient of the ETH silver medal (2002), the Ontario Early Researcher Award (2009), and the I.W. Smith Award of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers (2010), has published >25 scientific papers and > 5 patent families. Dr. Guenther co-organizes “Ontario-on-a-Chip”, the annual event on microfluidics, microreactors and labs-on-a-chip, which facilitates contact between university researchers and chemical, pharma, biotech, advanced materials and analytical device companies and is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Microfluidic Systems in Chemistry and Biology in Toronto.