Objectives and results of the third project year (01 Mar 2006 – 28 Feb 2007)

At the very beginning of the project two device concepts have been developed and elaborated in the following three years: the magnetic warehouse concept for adherently growing cells and the DEP/fluidic device for suspension cells. Last years results clearly revealed that both directions should be followed. Consequently, the naming was changed re-flecting that a transition from concepts to realisations has now been made. The magnetic warehouse approach will now be called MagnaLab crediting the magnetic manipulation of the carriers. The DEP/fluidic device is called NazcaLab, inspired by the layout of the fluidic chip resembling the ancient large scale drawings observed in Peru, South America.

The operational framework of the CellPROM application laboratory is now fully established serving as the point of integration for both devices; respective tools and modules are developed by the different partners in the framework of the project and the interplay is evaluated in the application laboratory.


Panoramic view of the CellPROM application laboratory.
Image courtesy FhG-IBMT.

The central part of the MagnaLab is a large fluidic chip manufactured from different layers of polycarbonate and connected by laser-welding. The current layout features 15 cultivation chambers allowing different cell suspension additives to be supplied to the cells. Thus a parallel cultivation of different cell models in the same chip is possible.


Different polycarbonate foils prior to assembly, MagnaLab fluidic chip after bonding (middle) and fluidic experiment with coloured fluids representing different cell suspension additives (right).
Image courtesy LEISTER and FhG-IBMT.

The cells are grown adherently on small, value added glass carriers (1 mm x 2 mm), those carriers are manipulated magnetically through the MagnaLab to undergo different processing steps. Long term cell cultivation under those conditions could be shown with adult pancreatic stem cells for 20 days, first results for differentiation in the chip with soluble growth factors are promising.


Adipogenic differentiation of adult pancreatic stem cells (CEsub2b) on carriers inside the MagnaLab with soluble growth factor (IGF-1) at day 20 (unstained in left and middle pictures, Oil-red-O staining on the right).
Images courtesy FhG-IBMT.

Nano-structurisation and functionalisation for the NanoScapesTM has been matured. Different features with sizes down to 50 nm have been reproduced in polymers and inorganic layers on glass. Various roads for the immobilisation of signal factors have been established. The systematic study of those substrates in the MagnaLab will be the main focus of the last project year.


Radial topological structure in a thin titanium dioxide layer on glass produced by a sol-gel embossing technique (left). Cells show varying behaviour grown on the structures (right).
Images courtesy INM and FhG-IBMT.