CoEBoC bases on strong, existing collaboration between the participating research groups. CoEBoC combines knowhow in biological and engineering sciences and aims to develop a new “body-on-chip” platform. The platform will be consisting of several cultured vascularised and innervated tissue blocks. With the body-on-chip we are modelling the function of human tissues and diseased states. Especially, we are developing platforms to model the systemic effects of hypoxia (e.g cardiac ischemia, stroke and hypoxia in adipose tissue and bone).

To achieve this ambitious goal, we combine multi-disciplinary expertise on human stem cells, biomaterials, sensors, microfluidics, biomodeling and bioimaging. CoEBoC produces new comprehensive knowledge for example on understanding tissue interactions, constructing complex in vitro tissue co-cultures and controlling their functionalities. The resulting expertise and technologies will improve for example development of disease modeling, new personalized treatments and drug development.

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Research groups

CoEBoC is composed of six research groups, which are collaborating closely to achieve the CoEBoC’s goals.
The research groups are the following:

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Group
Minna Kellomäki’s group has expertise in both synthetic and biologically modified materials. The group studies mainly bioabsorbable polymers, hydrogels, bioactive glasses and composites of them. The aim is to develop functionalized devices and scaffolds for biological and clinical applications.

Heart Group
Katriina Aalto-Setälä’s group brings important value to CoEBoC in terms of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, iPS derivation, cell differentiation into cardiomyocytes as well as hepatocytes. The group also has expertise in co-cultures of vascular-like structures composed of endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes.

Neuro Group
Susanna Narkilahti’s group focuses on producing both neuronal and glial cells from human pluripotent stem cells. The aim is to characterize the produced cells by their gene and protein expression and specifically study the cells’ maturation and electrophysiological functionality. In addition to producing neuronal tissue, Neuro Group brings important value to the CoEBoC by innervating the tissues to be included in the body-on-chip.

Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group
Jari Hyttinen’s group has expertise in the development of 3D bioimaging, electrophysiology and in silico computational modeling of cells and tissues and their functions. The group develops novel high resolution optical and X-ray microscopy methods and tools to be implemented with CoEBoC’s body-on-chips.

Micro- and Nanosystems Group
Pasi Kallio’s group combines knowledge of automation and control engineering with microsystems and nanotechnology. The group develops autonomous systems for the stimulation and measurement of cells and cell cultivation environments. Kallio’s group develops the microfluidic chips to be used in the CoEBoC’s applications.

Adult Stem Cell Group
Susanna Miettinen’s group concentrates on cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) behavior and differentiation. The group aims to develop cell based and tissue engineered products for clinical use and as in vitro -models. The Miettinen group has expertise in vascularisation and, therefore, has an important role in CoEBoC’s aim to produce vascularised tissue models for body-on-chips.

Affiliated groups

Neuroimmunology research group
Sanna Hagman’s group investigates the pathogenesis of neuroimmunological diseases. Especially, we are interested in revealing the neuroinflammatory mechanisms of glial cells astrocytes and microglia. The human stem cell-based disease models are utilized in the studies to understand their cellular and molecular mechanisms.