ESR 13

Name: Tanvi Shroff

Host Organisation: Fraunhofer IGB

Project Title: WAT-Liver-Chip with integrated sensors to study crosstalk of human white adipose and hepatic tissue

The goal of my project is to apply organ on chip technology to replicate a physiologically relevant model connecting white adipose and liver tissue (WAT-Liver Axis) to study tissue crosstalk, focusing on insulin signaling which is a key event in the progression of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. The application of this project will be for drug screening as well as to study disease mechanisms, and biomarker detection. More specifically, the WAT-Liver Axis will enable the study of molecular progression of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. I will also create a patient specific disease model by incorporating circulating immune cells into this system.

The research goals in this proposal are –

  1. To create a robust synchronous model of white adipose tissue and liver tissue and to perform experiments towards bio-energetic validation
  2. To implement sensors in the WAT-Liver Axis for in situ analysis of oxygen, pH, glucose, lactate consumption, insulin
  3. To incorporate circulating immune cells into the WAT-Liver Axis
  4. To create a patient specific disease state mimicking metabolic syndrome or NAFLD
  • Technische Universitaet Graz
    • Task: Integration of sensors enabling real-time in situ analysis
    • Advisor: Dr. Torsten Mayr
    • Duration: 2 months (M18-M19)
  • Universitaetsklinikum Jena
    • Task 1: Implementation of tissue resident macrophages and circulating immune cells
    • Task 2: Interfacing fat and liver model
    • Advisor: Alexander Mosig
    • Duration: 2 months (M23, M35-M36)
  • Transgene SA
    • Task: Application of fat and liver model in an industry setting
    • Advisor: Dr. Jean-Marc Balloul

Duration: 1 month (M39-M40)

Tanvi has a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai. She then went on to pursue a Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA where she used microfabrication techniques to create self-folding polymer geometries in the lab of Dr. David Gracias. This led her to pursue a career in microfabrication for a biomedical device setting and on to her next opportunity at Emulate, Inc. for the next three years. She has worked on projects ranging from chip development to compound studies on the chip as well as extracellular matrix deposition and characterization in the chip.

The curiosity continued and this led her to join the Loskill Lab in June 2019 as a Marie Curie ITN Fellow to study the crosstalk between white adipose tissue and liver tissue with regards to insulin signaling. In her free time, Tanvi enjoys painting, hiking and exploring new cities.