Multiscale cytometry of 3D cell cultures in microfluidic hydrogel arrays

Abstract : Conventional 2D cell culture fails to reproduce emph{in vivo} conditions. In this PhD thesis, 3D cell culture is implemented into a highly integrated microfluidic platform. Adherent mammalian cells are encapsulated in droplets immobilized on a high density array of capillary traps called anchors. In each droplet, the cells reorganize into a single functional 3D microtissue called spheroid. The use of an hydrogel allows to extend the culturing time in microdroplets and to perfuse the array with aqueous solutions, for instance for immuno-cyto-chemistry. A single and viable spheroid can also be selectively retrieved from the microfluidic chip. High throughput and quantitative data is extracted at the population, spheroid (tens of thousands of spheroids) and cellular level emph{in situ} (hundreds of thousands of cells) thanks to fluorescent imaging and a custom image analysis software. As a first proof of concept, the viability, proliferation and functionality of hp sh s were demonstrated and correlated with morphological parameters. Drug toxicity experiments were also performed on this liver model. Then, human mesenchymal stem cell aggregates were produced and the spatial heterogeneities of the expression of proteins involved in their therapeutic properties were investigated. Finally, this technology was further developed to enable applying different biochemical conditions in each droplet. The production and culture of spheroids in this microfluidic platform could lead to major advances in many fields such as drug toxicity, high throughput drug screening, personalized cancer treatment, tissue engineering or disease modeling.
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Raphaël Tomasi. Multiscale cytometry of 3D cell cultures in microfluidic hydrogel arrays. Cellular Biology. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX114⟩. ⟨tel-01496291⟩

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