Team Member

Anna Blöchinger
PhD student

Phone: +49-89-3187-2888
Building/Room: Campus Neuherberg, building 3620, room 040a


PancChip: a microfluidics approach to improve pancreatic lineage commitment

Β-cell loss or dysfunctions lead to diabetes. Current treatments, like insulin injections and anti-diabetic drugs do not provide full glycemic control leading to devastating micro- and macrovascular complications. Stem cell-derived islets and β-cells for cell-replacement therapy are a promising alternative to improve quality of patients' life, but require a thorough understanding of signals and pathways guiding differentiation in vitro. Current differentiation protocols (Rezania A, Pagliuca F) are empirical, not standardized and result in immature β-like cells. To overcome these drawbacks, hPSCs will be differentiated into the pancreatic and endocrine lineage using a microfluidic chip. The culture chambers have a volume of 10nl and are arranged in matrix configuration addressing each row and column individually. The design allows automatized high throughput screening and variation of cytokine gradients in each culture chamber at low cost. First, endoderm differentiation will be set up on the chip and signaling factors improving differentiation will be screened and refined. With this chip we have a unique tool to control the micro-environment of differentiating cells resulting in superior differentiation of more mature and functional β-like cells.


Academic and Research Activities

Since January 2017

PhD Student – Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany

Apr. 2014 - May 2016

Master of Science in Medical Technology and Engineering, Technical University Munich, Germany

Oct. 2010 - Jan. 2015

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Technical University Munich, Germany


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