A medical student from Thailand designs microfluidic channels of organ chip
In May 2023, Takahashi Lab welcomed Thanasin Chalermchat, a research internship student from Mahidol University in Thailand. Thanasin, a second-year medical student, utilized a diverse range of knowledge and skills in fields such as 3D CAD and cell biology to design and 3D print microfluidic chips.
Building upon this, Thanasin successfully cultured vascular endothelial cells on the printed microfluidic chips and confirmed cell activity using laser confocal microscopy. He paved the way for improved accuracy and precision of microfluidic channels within the organ chip by optimizing the design. This achievement stands out remarkably as an exceptional outcome of the one-month research internship.
From my 1 month experience in Okayama cardiovascular physiology laboratory, It was a new experience for me, as a medical student, to be experiencing life in a scientific environment. I had to adjust to routines, laboratory protocols, and data management systems, Initially, I struggled to adjust to my new environments and have made some mistakes, but from the encouragement and goodwill of everyone in this lab, I was able to overcome it.Thanasin Chalermchat
I was also given an opportunity to try my hands at a new project about designing microfluidic channels, it is an interesting equipment, made to stimulate an in vivo environment for pharmacological testing. I’ve designed the microfluidic channels from Blender software and tried to print them by using one of the newest 3D printers that the laboratory has to offer, still, the process was not as straightforward as I first would’ve thought, multiple failed attempts needed revision and diagnosis of problems. Sometimes the processes felt outright frustrating, but the process has taught me that in scientific research, nothing is easy, if it were to be easy, someone would’ve done it already.
Aside from normal laboratory protocols and the project, I was also given a chance to participate or observe in many laboratory routines, what particularly intrigues me is the observation of the electron microscope session, because this is the first time that I’ve seen someone using the electron microscope to measure a parameter for research purpose (in this case it is cardiac myocytes’ sarcomere length).
From this experience, I can confidently say that I’m a lot more interested in what the scientific world has to offer, although my one month stay here might be a little bit on short end, I’ve been quite inspired by the opportunity that cardiovascular physiology laboratory has to offer, and If anyone is interested in cardiovascular physiology related research, especially microfluidic channels, I wholeheartedly recommend Okayama cardiovascular physiology laboratory as one of the very excellent choices.
These achievements hold great promise in contributing to the further development of organ chip technology. Thanasin’s expertise and innovative work have opened new avenues for enhancing the field’s understanding and application of microfluidic devices.
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Takahashi Lab at Okayama University uses principles of physiology, cellular and molecular biology, and biophysics. The purpose of the lab is to develop science and medicine by unveiling the mechanisms of diseases through collaborations with scientists, epidemiologists, and corporate alliances. The alliance includes Harvard University, Boston University, Texas A&M University, and PD Aerospace, Ltd.