Name: Bilge Şen Elçi

Host Organisation: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Project Title: Development of Defined Matrices for Next Generation Organ-on-Chip Systems

The aim of the project is to develop novel chemically defined and highly tuneable hydrogels suitable for organoid culture and incorporation in advanced organ-on-chip models. The main tasks of the project are:

  1. to develop synthetic 3D hydrogels that are suitable for the derivation of ‘vascularized’ organoids. A particular initial focus is on the adaptation of existing hydrogel crosslinking mechanisms in order to facilitate more extensive in vitro morphogenetic processes.
  2. to integrate these smart 3D matrices in an organ-on-a-chip model.
  1. Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands, 3 months
  2. UPM The Biofore Company, Finland, 2 months

Imagine you actively get to use everything you learned your whole life, put them into the most challenging tasks in science on daily basis. That’s the dream I am living in now as part of EUROoC-ITN in Laboratory for Stem Cell Bioengineering (Lutolf Lab) at EPFL. As a trained bioengineer both in undergraduate (Istanbul Bilgi University) and graduate studies (TU Dresden), my passion is to mimic life with the help of material science and microfabrication, generate tissues and organs in vitro to reduce the dependence on animal studies one day. I am Turkish by blood, an Earthian made of stardust by heart, and a very talented toast maker. I love travelling and trying new cuisines, absorbing different cultures.