Fluidic arrays systems and technology (FAST) has its roots in microarray technology. Microarray technology is miniaturized and parallelized chemical, biochemical or cellular assays. Nowadays microarrays are immensely powerful tools where millions of different reactions occur on a chip.
Currently we utilized microarrays analytically for investigations of biocompatibility of materials and nanostructures. We also utilize microarrays as high throughput platform for assessing effects of extracellular matrix proteins on stem cell differentiation.
A growing activity in the fast group is the development and usage of advanced cell culture systems. Two technologies groups are usually predominant to make biological investigations; technologies to expose biological system for different conditions and technologies to record effects of the provided cues. The FAST group develops microfluidics systems based on a modular component (similar to LEGO) approach to provide life like cell culture conditions and ability to perturb these conditions. The large difference between flow based microfluidics cell cultures and batch cultures can thus be studied. Differences in cell responses are often observed between perfusion and batch culture. Using microfluidics we have studied paracrine network of adipose derived stem cells differentiation, mesenchymal stem cell migration and development of a biomimetic liver for transplantation purposes. Spinoffs of these activities is the development of a microfluidics platform for in situ hybridization and ground water pesticide control
It is crucial that effect of responses can be recorded and usually this is done using molecular approaches such as PCR, microarrays and immunoassays. However, all of these are endpoint assays, which means that the cells are destroyed in the analysis. We are currently investigating possibilities to use intracellular nanosensors that can be inserted into the cell. These sensors are stable for weeks of culture and provide opportunities to follow onset and shut down of specific genes involved in cellular processes such as stem cell differentiation.
FAST is revisiting its roots of high throughput analysis, by applying microfluidics droplet based cloning and analysis of biological libraries. Currently we are involved in project regarding isolation of therapeutic antibodies, epitope mapping and bacterial bioengineering.