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Title: Novel technologies for cell culture and tissue engineering
Author: Ge, Cheng
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 1219
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Cell culture has been a fundamental tool for the study of cell biology, tissue engineering, stem cell technology and biotechnology in general. It becomes more and more important to have a well-defined physiochemical microenvironment during cell culture. Conventional cell cultures employ expensive, manually controlled incubation equipment, making it difficult to maximize a cultures yield. Furthermore, previous studies use qualitative methods to assess cell culture proliferation that are inherently inaccurate and labour intensive, thereby increasing the cost of production. In addition, three dimensional cell culture, in scaffold, has been shown to provide more physiological relevant information as it mimic more accurate conditions that are similar to the physiological conditions of the human body compared with two dimension, which has special interest to regenerative medicine. Therefore, a portable and automated total-analysis-system (μTAS) was proposed with microenvironment control and quantitative analysis techniques to monitor cell proliferation and metabolic activity. The automated portable heating system was validated to be capable to maintain a stable physiochemical microenvironment, with little margin of error, for cellular substrate outside of conventional incubation. A standalone platform system was designed and fabricated with accurate temperature control by employing an optically transparent ITO-film with a large heating area. The transparency of the film is critical for continuous in-situ microscopic observation over long-term cell culture process. Previous studies have attempted to use ITO-film as a heating element, but were unable to distribute the heat evenly onto the microbioreactor platform. This nagging problem in the literature was improved through a novel film design. As a result, the ITO-film based heating system was evaluated and constructed successfully to serve as a heating element for long-term static cell culture with facilitated proliferation rate in gas-permeable PDMS microbioreactor outside of conventional incubation. In addition to maintaining a stable microenvironment, a non-invasive in-situ technology for monitoring cell viability and proliferation rate was constructed and developed based on bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS). It was primarily focused on making decisions for structure and specification of proposed system-on a chip BIS measurement. The miniaturization of BIS system on microbioreactor platform was achieved by utilizing and integrating switching matrix array, impedance analyzer chip with reliable analogue-front-end circuitry. The realized system was verified with the DLD-1 cells and its monitored data were validated with conventional bioassays. Three dimensional cell cultures with scaffold is a key to the success of tissue engineering. Engineered cornea collagen scaffold may be feasible using re-seeding proper human cells onto a decellularized corneal scaffold. The quality of the scaffold and the interaction of the cells are critical to the key function (i.e transparency, haze and total transmittance) of final products. An integrated corneal collagen scaffold quality assessment system, via optical property inspection unit, was innovatively designed and realized with non-invasive and non-destructive characteristics. The H1299 cells were seeded onto inspected corneal scaffold and BIS system, which were realized in the previous chapter, were used to validate its applicability for 3D cell culture. The cell adhesion as an outcome at different scaffolds with different optical properties has revealed the importance of the microstructure of scaffold on the cell functions. The results showed the developed technologies can be used for the quality control of corneal scaffold and the fabricated μTAS not only enabled environmental control but, with BIS-based in-situ assay, it also facilitate the function (i.e adhesion) and viability monitoring with quantitative and qualitative analysis in 3D-alike cell culture. Additionally, by considering its low decontamination and cost-effective nature with compatibility for high-throughput screening applications, the fabricated and integrated systems has significant applications in tissue engineering.
Supervisor: Cui, Zhanfeng Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Instrumentation engineering ; Biomedical engineering ; Tissue engineering ; Type I Corneal Collagen Scaffold ; Biocompatibility ; In-situ Assay ; Total Analysis System