NETosis consists of the ejection of DNA filaments by activated neutrophils resulting in extracellular DNA (Neutrophil Extracellular Traps, NETs). This DNA has antimicrobial properties but is also toxic to surrounding tissues. NETs have recently been reported to participate in many pathologies such as cancer, thrombosis, or autoimmune diseases.
In order to tackle how the environment influences NET formation, this project aims to optimize a droplet-based microfluidics approach to monitor and quantitatively analyze NET formation at the single-cell level in suspension. Our lab has already established conditions allowing to encapsulate non-activated neutrophils in droplets and we are now ready to apply this cutting-edge technology to study NET formation in suspension. Neutrophils will be encapsulated into a water-in-oil emulsion and analyzed using fluorescent probes and time-lapse microscopy. The objective is to precisely establish the different characteristics of NET formation depending on the stimulus.
We are proposing 6-month internship for a motivated student to continue the development and optimization of our droplet-based microfluidics system. Methods and technology relevant to this internship opportunity include:
- Cell culture and isolation of primary human cells from blood
- Droplet-based microfluidics
- Image analysis using (and developing) machine learning algorithms
The candidate will join a complementary team of immunologists, pharmacologists and engineers. Daily lab work will be supervised by a 3rd year PhD student with a solid experience in the analysis of NET formation in human neutrophils. Microfluidics experimentation will be done together with a dedicated research engineer.
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