Invited Speaker
Dr. Yan-Ru Lou,

Dr. Yan-Ru Lou,

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Drug Administration, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, China
Speech Title: The role of 3D cell culture systems in stem cell differentiation

Abstract: Stem cell-based tissue engineering provides not only in vitro models for studying tissue homeostasis and disease but also in vivo tissue-like structures for regenerative medicine. Generation of tissue-like structures relies on three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems. Some of the current challenges in this field include mass transfer limitation and heterogeneity of 3D multicellular structures. By performing differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) towards definitive endoderm (DE), we found that successful DE spheroid formation relies on dominant cell-cell interactions over cell-biomaterials/cell-matrix interactions. Mass transfer, influenced by spheroid size and viscous biomaterials, has a great impact on stem cell differentiation. We hereby demonstrate how the properties of a chosen 3D system can influence differentiation process and the importance of spheroid size control for successful human PSC differentiation. Our study provides important information in the field of tissue engineering and stem cell research.

Biography: Dr. Yan-Ru Lou is a professor and supervisor of PhD and Master students at Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Drug Administration, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, China. Prof. Yan-Ru Lou obtained her BSc in Pharmacy from West China University of Medical Sciences, China in 1996 and PhD in Anatomy from Faculty of Medicine, University of Tampere, Finland in 2005. Before joining Fudan University as a professor in July 2020, she had worked in REGEA Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Tampere for 1 year, A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore for 2 years, and Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki for 10 year. She was granted the title of Docent (also called Adjunct professor, equivalent to Associate professor) at University of Helsinki in 2016. Dr. Lou made significant discovery on vitamin D endocrine system during her PhD studies. After PhD, she has been working on human stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells and pluripotent stem cells) and 3D cell culturing. Her research interests include cell-biomaterial interactions and human organoid-based models for drug research and clinical pharmacy. Prof. Lou has obtained more than 1,160,000 EURO of research grants. She has published 46 articles with H-index 25. Prof. Lou is an inventor of nine patents and one commercial product.

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