A microfluidics approach towards contact-free laser-induced photoporation for cell-based therapies

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2018
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

Treatment of cells for cell-based therapies is a newer form of therapy in which cells are injected in

patient in order to prevent or treat illnesses. A well-known example is usage of a cancer patient’

own immune cells to attack the tumor cells. Vapour nanobubble (VNB) photoporation is

particularly promising for ex vivo preparation of cells for cell-based therapies as it typically

provides high efficiency, high throughput and low toxicity. It is based on usage of plasmonic

nanoparticles, such as gold nanoparticle (AuNP), which can form explosive nanobubbles upon

pulsed laser irradiation. Those tiny explosions can form small pores in cell membranes, allowing

functional molecules and nanoparticles to enter into cells. However, translation of VNB

photoporation to clinical applications is hindered by the fact that current procedure depends on

AuNP that is in close contact with cell membrane. Therefore, in this project we will investigate the

possibility to perform VNB photoporation of cells without AuNP being in contact with cells. Fluid

and molecular dynamics simulations will be used to investigate the conditions at which contactfree

photoporation of cell membrane can be achieved. Next it will be investigated by simulations

and experiments how explosive VNB may influence fluid flow in a microfluidic channel. The final

step is to design microfluidic devices in which the distance between cells and AuNP can be

controlled so as to achieve contact-free VNB photoporation of cells.