Online PhD conferral mr. Afonso Malheiro
Supervisor: prof.dr. L. Moroni
Co-supervisor: dr. P. Wieringa
Key words: biofabrication, regenerative medicine, in vitro models, peripheral nerve platforms, neurovascular models
"Getting wired: strategies to develop peripheral nerve, innervated tissue and neurovascular in vitroplatforms"
This PhD research focused on the creation of in vitro models that represents the native ecosystem of a peripheral nerve, and particularly, that recapitulate neurovascular interactions. To achieve this, the research started with a neuronal cell line model, but later it migrated to a more representative system that contained human-derived stem cells that could be directed into functional neurons. Using this cell model, the development of an in vitro platform was shown that represents the peripheral nerve and others that display innervation of target tissues, such as pancreatic tissue, endometrium organoids, skin constructs and engineered blood vessels. The research also applied the peripheral nerve model to simulate a diabetic environment (particularly hyperglycemia) and to screen potential therapeutic drugs.