Please see below descriptions of all projects involving Darryl Overby


Darryl Overby & Simon Schultz

Brain-on-Chip: A Novel Explant Perfusion Model for ex vivo Study of Brain Tissue Function

Lab based Biomechanics & mechanobiology; Biomedical sensing diagnostics & imaging; 

The neuroscience community aims to study neural and glial cells in their native microenvironment. Typically, this requires intravital techniques, such as implantation of intracranial windows, or advanced 3D models such as organoids. In this project, we aim to develop a device to preserve the viability and function of murine brain explants for ex vivo analysis of neural function, building on a successful design already applied to liver explants.

This is a multi-disciplinary project that combines the organ-on-chip expertise of the Overby lab with the vital imaging and neuroscience expertise of the Schultz lab.

The existing device works by placing an explant within a semi-conical microchannel constriction. When a pressure drop is applied across the explant, the constriction achieves “self-sealing” between the explant and channel wall, such that flow is forced to pass through (rather than around) the explant. Our data show that perfusion preserves explant viability and function for up to 6 days in murine liver explants.

This project will interface with a team of researchers to adapt the current explant-in-chip design to murine brain. We aim to measure viability markers as a function of perfusion time, assess flow through the microvasculature, and measure neural cell function using voltage-sensitive dyes.

A good student will have enthusiasm for multi-disciplinary science, microfabrication and a willingness to learn and develop new experimental techniques.