Reconstruction of the blood-retinal interface by combining new hydrogel materials and stem cell technologies
The main focus of my PhD project is the reconstruction and establishment of the outer blood-retinal barrier in our organ-on-chip system, the vasQchip. Therefor, murine embryonal stem cells should be differentiated into functional retinal pigment epithel (RPE) and co-cultured with endothelial cells under microfluidic conditions. During the RPE differentiation different gelatin-based hydrogels in combination with different factors should be used as possible extracellular matrix analoug for Matrigel. Aditionally, the tube- and network formation of endothelial cells should be artificially induced by using angiogenic factors to improve the nutrition supply in organ-on-chip systems.