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Vincent van Duinen, MSc

In my research, I use microfluidic chips: miniaturized channels that offer precise control over the cellular microenvironment. My main focus is on vasculature, as this tissue has a clear benefit from the physiological relevance that is added by using microfluidics, as it enables the design of in vitro systems that incorpotate exposure to flow and gradients. More realistic in vitro models of vasculature will increase the efficiency of drug discovery and lead validation, and will have a great impact in the way we study (fundamental) endothelial cell behaviour, both in health and disease.

I’m currently finishing my thesis called ‘Microvessels in Microfluidics’, in which I describe several novel in vitro models including vasculature. Within the microfluidic channels, endothelial cells grow into a perfusable, three-dimensional microvessels. I developed an in vitro assays to quantify the vascular permeability of 96 perfusable microvessels. Furthermore, by changing the geometry, robust and stable gradients can be formed, which enables the study of angiogenic sprouting in greater detail, as the cells are both exposed to gradients and flow.

In the Einthoven lab, I will compare different sources of endothelial cells, such as primary, iPSC-derived- or blood outgrowth endothelial cells. Furthermore, I will build upon my existing models by adding physiological relevant cells, such as pericytes and immune cells.