Marie Loly

PhD Student

Developing microfluidic cell culture platforms to elucidate the multifactorial and reciprocal interactions underlying renal patterning

I made a Master in fundamental research in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Liege and started my PhD in September 2022. 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.

We differentiate our stem cells to this two cellular compartment, which 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.

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