A bioreactor to simulate the liver
In the "Liver on a Chip" project, a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Jordi Gracia-Sancho has designed and manufactured a co-culture camera that simulates the liver microenvironment. The Biomedical Applications Group at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (CNM-CSIC) led by Dr. Rosa Villa, and the Protective strategies against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury IDIBAPS group, led by Dr. Carmen Peralta, have collaborated in this project. This novel system allows the simultaneous co-cultivation of the main cell types in the liver and is expected to serve as a diagnostic and in-vitro tool for cell function, pharmacology, toxicity and personalized medicine. "It could be applied to the entire biomedical research where the vascular system has some relevance, such as in the liver, kidney and the cardiovascular system", explains Dr. Gracia-Sancho. "We are now validating the device as a tool to keep viable and functional liver stem cells for a long period of time, which would give rise to the development of a device for extracorporeal liver support", he adds.
Sutureless vessels reconstruction
The project "Development of a surgical device for sutureless vascular anastomosis" aims to design a system to reconstruct small caliber vessels without using conventional sutures. In an initial phase, its use is intended for plastic surgery, specifically, in free flaps vascular sutures where anastomosis is made in small diameter vessels. In this type of vessels, conventional suturing is complicated and has a failure rate between 10% and 15%. In the future, however, "we expect that it could be used in other surgical procedures as the system features make it suitable to be applied in other specialties such as cardiac and vascular surgery or organ transplantation", explains Dr. Descarrega.The presentation of “Liver on a Chip” by Dr. Gracia-Sancho also won the award for the best Elevator Pitch of the day, in a vote via twitter during the presentation of the projects.
More information: VHIR