Name: Tarek Gensheimer, MSc

Host Organisation: University of Twente, The Netherlands; Faculty of Science and Technology, Applied Stem Cell Technologies

Project Title:   Retina-on-Chip with Local Oxygen Sensing

The aim of this project is to develop and apply a organ-on-a-chip system, containing perfused co-cultures of retinal cells, as well as integrated sensors. The main working tasks of this project are:

  1. To set up controlled, parallelized, microfluidically perfused, co-cultures of endothelial cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells in a retina-on-chip system;
  2. to control oxygen levels in the systems and to integrate optical oxygen sensing;
  3. to analyse barrier properties of the co-cultures in conditions of normoxia and hypoxia for applications in retinal disease modelling
  • Graz University of Technology, Austria for 3 months
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co.KG, Germany for 3 months

In 2016, Tarek obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. He then enrolled for the Master’s program in Biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin and graduated in 2018. During the M.Sc. project, Tarek worked at the Royal Academy of Technology KTH Stockholm to evaluate the application of advanced 3D cell culture materials for tissue engineering approaches by developing an in-vitro full-thickness skin equivalent. After his graduation, Tarek worked as Research Engineer at the KTH Stockholm until 2019 and then moved to the Netherlands to start his PhD project. He was chosen for the MSCA-ITN PhD Position at the University of Twente in the group of Andries van der Meer to investigate retinal diseases in novel organ-on-a-chip systems.