A wide range of microfluidic systems are emerging as powerful tools for various studies in physics, chemistry and biology. Due to their unique liquid handling capabilities, outstanding analytical performance, miniaturization and automation microfluidics have attracted a special attention among biomedicine and biological disciplines. For cell-based assays in particular, this new technology can bring an unprecedented level of control over single-cells and their populations, provide precise control of cellular microenvironments and enable typical laboratory operations using only minute amounts of samples. However, despite these exciting promises, the vast majority of cell-based microfluidic devices available today are still in the proof-of-concept state. Accordingly, there is a growing demand for microfluidic systems that support long-term cell growth in well-controlled conditions and allow reproducible and sequential multi-step operations in an automated fashion. This project is aiming to fulfill these needs through the development of an integrated microfluidic device consisting of multiple individual bioreactors, which will allow single-cell entrapment, cultivation, monitoring and analysis under strictly controlled conditions and long periods of time. By utilizing the developed system with genetically identical yeast cells we will investigate how epigenetic and genetic factors interact to enhance the adaptation process and how the adapted state is maintained in populations. The multidisciplinary approach of this project will make it possible to tackle these and other questions in a quantitative and systematic way. The results of this work should improve our basic understanding of the relationship between genetic and epigenetic inheritance systems and their role in the evolution of organisms, while the integrated microfluidic platform we will develop during this fellowship will undoubtedly find a myriad of applications in fundamental and applied biological sciences.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call