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Microfluidics as a technological platform for nano & biotechnology

Grant number: 18/19537-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2019 - January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Lucimara Gaziola de la Torre
Grantee:Lucimara Gaziola de la Torre
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Antonio Augusto Malfatti Gasperini ; Thiago Bezerra Taketa

Abstract

This research project encompasses the activities of the Laboratory of Nano&Biotechnology for Advanced Developments (LaNBDA), under coordination of the responsible researcher of this project. The research activities are targeted to the microfluidics area, which is the science and technology that allow manipulation of microscale devices and handles small amounts of fluids that flow in artificial microsystems fabricated by using specific materials. Under such flow characteristics, it is possible to control molecules in space and time with reproducibility, enabling many applications. Among different applications we highlight nanotechnology and biotechnology. In the field of nanotechnology, microfluidics can be applied for the synthesis of nanomaterials, as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles, mainly for gene delivery therapy. This therapy is based on the idea to carry out the treatment of diseases through the insertion of a therapeutic gene to target cells or patients. In the biotechnological field, a current microfluidic application is the evaluation of cellular behavior for drug screening and for mimicking skin. Despite the great research trend, the development of monitoring sensors in microfluidic devices is still a challenge. In this sense, this research project presents 8 LaNBDA's subprojects, inserted in two main research lines: (i) Microfluidics and Nanobiotechnology for the synthesis of STEALTH liposomes with specific targeting for gene delivery (subproject I) and new microfluidic methods based on chaotic advection for liposomes synthesis (subproject II); polymeric nanoparticles for nucleic acid delivery (subproject III); sustained delivery systems for liposomes delivery (subproject VI); microbubbles for specific targeting (subproject V); (ii) Microfluidics and Biotechnology for the development of drug screening techniques (subproject VI), development of in vitro models to mimic skin (subproject VII) and development of optical instrumentation for bioprocess monitoring (subproject VIII). These subprojects have the national collaboration with Professors Sang Won Han - Centro de Terapia Celular e Molecular (CTCMol) - Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), Hernandes Faustino de Carvalho and Marcelo Bispo de Jesus from Biology Institute and Eric Fujiwara from School of Mechanical Engineering, all from University of Campinas and Dr. Renato de Sousa Lima from CNPEM. The international collaborators are Professor Patrick Tabeling who coordinates the Microfluidics, MEMS, Nanostructures (MMN) Laboratory from École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI) (Paris/France) and Professor Nicolas Szita from University College London - UK, specialist in microfluidics applied to bioprocesses. Therefore, this project aims to contribute in the field of (i) microfluidics applied to nanobiotechnology, more specifically for gene therapy applications, developing new processes for the synthesis of nanostructured vehicles for nucleic acid delivery and (ii) microfluidics applied to biotechnology to develop microfluidic devices for biotechnological process evaluation, as drug screening and assemble of in vitro models that mimic skin. It is also expected to qualify human resources in these respective areas. (AU)