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Q&A with PhD student Shehnaz Ahmed

What is the aim of your PhD?

The aim of my PhD is to develop a physiologically relevant in vitro tissue model with the ability to monitor important parameters in situ, such as pH within the cellular microenvironment. Being able to accurately quantify local analyte concentrations in real time within the microenvironment can provide insight into disease processes and conditions required for growth.


Why are you interested in flow?

I am currently using electrospun scaffolds for cell culture to mimic features of the native extracellular matrix and the combination of medium flow can be very beneficial. During static culture, limitations can arise from the dense fibrous structure of the scaffolds restricting cellular infiltration and oxygen/nutrient diffusion throughout the construct leading to regions of necrosis. The use of flow has been shown to enhance mass transport by perfusion of medium throughout the interconnected pores improving cell activity compared to static conditions.

Why was Quasi Vivo® appealing to you in comparison to other systems?

Quasi-Vivo® was more appealing compared to other systems because of its simplicity and ease of use. Other flow systems such as microfluidic devices involve scaling down and often reoptimising standard protocols. They also often lack the ability to easily load and retrieve scaffolds for 3-Dimensional culture. Furthermore, the small working volume of some systems can create challenges for subsequent analysis.

What do you like about Quasi Vivo®?

Quasi-Vivo® is like a lego kit, straight forward to put together with flexible assembly to suit my experimental configuration. The QV is transferable from conventional tissue culture as the bioreactor has dimensions of a conventional 24 well plate, which makes it easy to insert scaffolds and coverslips into the bioreactor.

What end points have you been able to look at with Quasi Vivo®?

I have monitored differences in proliferation and morphology of fibroblasts, in addition to extracellular matrix deposition when exposed to static and flow culture conditions.

How did you find working with the Kirkstall team?

Working with the Kirkstall team is always an absolute pleasure. They are friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and always take an interest in my research.

Quasi Vivo®, commercially available and used in 70+ labs worldwide, getting started is easy and cost effective!

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Phone: + 44 (0) 1709 361 241

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