dr. R. (Regina) Luttge - Expertises
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Luttge studied Applied Sciences in Germany (1989-1993). She had been working as an engineering researcher at Institut für Mikrotechnik in Mainz, Germany, for nearly 5 years prior to starting her PhD studies in Microsystems Technologies at Imperial College in 1999, London, UK. In 2003, Luttge was awarded a PhD from University of London on the development of fabrication technology for micro-optical scanners. Switching her research interest to microfluidics applications, Luttge had been working for 12 years at University of Twente’s MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, The Netherlands, first as a senior scientist and since 2007 as an assistant professor prior to joining TU/e. Based on her established scientific profile in Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology, Luttge has been appointed associate professor in the Microsystems Group at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in June 2013.
In my research line we investigate and develop microsystems for medicine and biology with integrated bio-inspired functionality mediated by shrinking structural dimensions and controlling material properties at the nanoscale applying emerging and established micro-nanofabrication methods. For example, the ability to guide neuronal growth by specific, artificially-designed patterns allows us to study how brain function follows form. Our specific goal is to combine microfluidics with tissue engineering to create a realistic in vitro model of the brain, which can provide insights into both normal and disease-state function. In MESOTAS (ERC-StG, 2011-2016), we mainly use a soft-lithography approach for the rational design of miniaturized 3D culture experiments and the generation of artificial micro-environments of physiological relevance. Luttge and her research team aim to forward-engineer a living brain from isolated primary rat brain cells. In the future, we will also study the technical requirements to introduce human tissue from a biopsy and stem cells into the microsystems.
A main challenge in the development of physiological and clinical relevant platform technologies for the prevention, relief and cure of human diseases is the temporal and spatial control of the cellular microenvironment interacting in or at the designed microsystems over prolonged periods of time. Hence, the understanding of critical design rules for bio-hybrid systems is important.Besides education and research, I am also actively involved in scientific entrepreneurship. Since 2012, for example, I am Chief Scientific Officer at MyLife Technologies BV and I am passionate about spinning-off new businesses based on my research at TU/e particularly on topics, where unique opportunities arise for students at all levels of their educational program to take part in the business development.