Self-renewal and differential potential along multiple cell types are unique features borne by stem cells. Such properties provide a unique access in vitro to the processes of tissue development, homeostasis, or regenerative responses under injury. The 3D culture of stem cell provides a more relevant microenvironment to sustain the molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell fate decisions.
Charles Baroud’s team recently developed an innovative nanoliter droplets microfluidic platform that enables the formation, culture, multiplexed regulation and quantitative analysis of spheroids of somatic cells. However, the application of the platform to the long term-culture and analysis of stem cells remains challenging.
This project seeks at extending the capability of the droplet microfluidic platform to render it compatible with stem cells, using as proof of principle neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from zebrafish adult brains. Our two teams, specialized respectively in droplet microfluidics and NSC biology, will join forces to develop this technology, which will then permit to answer, in vitro, important questions related to brain homeostasis and regenerative potential.