Marie Loly

PhD student

Project description

My project aims for the development of a novel in vitro organoid model of kidney branching morphogenesis on-chip using mouse and human (pluripotent) stem cells. The main goal is to mimic key aspects of nephrogenesis to better understand how we can create higher-order collecting duct constructs for applications in Regenerative Medicine. The complexity of the collecting duct architecture is a result of the intricate and reciprocal interactions between different renal compartments, e.g., the ureteric bud and the metanephric mesenchyme. To reverse engineer the budding and branching in vitro, we differentiate our stem cells to ureteric bud and metanephric mesenchyme precursors. These cellular compartments are then integrated into microfluidic chips to decouple and perturb single factors of these interactions to develop strategies for a guided and materials-driven branching morphogenesis. The development of such a modular system aims at improving the availability of existing kidney models in vitro and could become an essential tool to study mechanisms of kidney formation or renal disorders.

Keywords: Kidney branching morphogenesis on-chip, collecting duct architecture, stem cell differentiation, ureteric bud, metanephric mesenchyme
Techniques: 3D stem cell culture, microfluidics chip, qRT-PCR, immunostainings