Patrícia Zoio – AIM Fellow 2016

Patrícia Zoio

Patrícia Zoio has undergraduate degrees (bachelor and master) in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics from Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon.

Her PD-FCT AIM project is entitled “Fully-humanized Skin-on-a-chip for medical applications”. This project takes place at ITQB and INESC MN. The thesis is supervised by Abel Oliva (ITQB) and co-supervised by João Pedro Conde (INESC MN and Department of Bioengineering of Técnico). Her doctoral program started on October 1st 2016.

Project Description
This project aims at developing an innovative microfluidic system to grow and sustain a physiologically relevant human skin model. This approach begins with the production of a fully-humanized skin model by combining the production of a fibroblast derived matrix and the use of an inert porous scaffolds for long-term, stable cultivation, without using animal components. This technique is then combined with the use of a biomimetic “organ-on-a-chip” system with dynamic perfusion for continuous supply of nutrients and metabolites. Also, the chip includes an innovative module-based architecture providing an easy to use workflow, an efficient and precise cell seeding and a removable culture insert that can be transferred between modules.This platform could reduce the dependence on animal models and provide a new in vitro tissue to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel drugs and technologies.

Ongoing activities
- Development of a fully humanized skin using polymeric scaffolds
- Chip optimization using 3D printing and precision CNC milling
- Design of a chip add-on to monitor the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of the reconstructed skin

Past activities
- Completed the curricular units from the PhD Program in Molecular Biosciences at ITQB-Nova (Core training + Specific training profiles in Biopharmaceutical Technology and Molecular Mechanisms)
- Development of full thickness skin using conventional methods
- First microfluidic chip prototype using soft-lithography techniques

Oral and poster communications
Zoio, P.A, Oliva, A.G., Conde, J.P. (2018, November) “Fully-Humanized Skin-on-a-chip for medical applications”. Poster Session presented at ITQB NOVA, Oeiras, Portugal.(prior to Aim)

Speaker at the 7th edition of the Workshop on Biomedical Engineering in University of Lisbon with a presentation titled “Electromagnetic actuation system for manipulation of microrobots in blood vessels”, April 2015.
Speaker at the Charité University (Berlin, Germany) with a presentation titled “Nanorobot navigation using an MRI system”, September 2014