'Validation of a 3D Microfluidic Tool to study the factors that cause disruption of the Vaginal Microbiome

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University London
Department Name: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Organ-on-chip is a recent technique that is based on the use of multi-channel 3-D microfluidic chip for cell culture which aims to emulate the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems, a type of artificial organ. This biomedical engineering tecnology will contribute for the further understanding of Bacterial Vaginosis in order to study further therapies and how these work within a man made vaginal microbiome that simulates the female organ environment.
Key Research Questions
1. Can we validate a microfluidic system to mimic the human vaginal environment:
1.1. Is the scaffold compatible with the growth of vaginal cells and microbiome? 1.2. Does the microfluidic chip support the viable growth of epithelial and bacterial cells in the vaginal microenvironment? 1.3. Is the flow-through appropriate for vaginal and microbial viability?

The work proposed here aims to validate the current VOC platform with a co-culture of VK2/E6E7 human vaginal cells and L. crispatus, using multiple micro-engineering techniques. As examples, the quality of the scaffold will be tested by tensile strength and contact angle. The biocompatibility of the scaffolding membranes and the flow-through system with cells and bacteria will be analysed by cell viability tests and microscopy imaging (SEM and TEM).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512990/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2284434 Studentship EP/R512990/1 01/02/2020 30/07/2023 LUANA De Abreu Queirós Osório