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Author

Sarah Spitz

Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Angewandte Synthesechemie

Dipl.-Ing. Sarah Spitz

Sarah Spitz, born in 1993, studied biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, graduating with an engineering diploma degree. While studying, she was employed for two years as a research assistant at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at BOKU. She completed her inter-institutional master’s thesis at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology, the TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) and the Medical University of Vienna. In 2017, Sarah Spitz accepted a PhD position in the “Cell Chip Group” of Professor Dr. Ertl at TU Wien, where she is researching to develop a physiological midbrain model to investigate neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson's disease. Sarah Spitz works as a project assistant at TU Wien and is project leader of several, partly international, projects.

Activities

As part of Professor Dr. Ertl’s research group at the TU Wien, Sarah Spitz uses the advantages of organ-on-a-chip technology and its microfluidics to study Parkinson's disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are used to grow miniature models of the midbrain in cell culture, so-called midbrain organoids, that are not only electrophysiologically active but also exhibit characteristics of the human midbrain. The aim is to use a wide range of technologies to investigate differences between healthy and diseased brains under physiological conditions and thus to gain new insights into how the disease develops. The multisensory, personalized platform created in the course of this work was awarded the 2020 public choice Houska Prize in the category “Academic Research”.

Focus

Sarah Spitz works on researching and establishing complex neurobiological in vitro organ and disease models using credit card sized multisensory microchips. This novel technology helps to closely imitate and control human physiology and supports both basic research and precision medicine. As a member of the Cell Chip Group, Sarah Spitz's research focuses mainly on Parkinson's disease, but also on osteoarthritis and the vascular system.

Methods

  • Organ-on-a-Chip
  • Microfluidics
  • Electrochemistry
  • iPSC technology
  • Tissue engineering
  • Cellular analytics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Rapid prototyping

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • induced pluripotent…
  • human stem cells
  • organoids
  • midbrain organoids
  • cell cultures
  • tissue engineering
  • microchips
  • in vitro disease models
  • Parkinson's disease

Other articles by this author

All articles

Organs-on-a-Chip

The aim of personalized medicine (or precision medicine) is to take patients’ personal features into consideration as much as possible for their medical treatment, thereby going beyond the (…)

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    Organs-on-a-Chip

    The aim of personalized medicine (or precision medicine) is to take patients’ personal features into consideration as much as possible for their medical treatment, thereby going beyond the functional diagnosis of the disease. A promising concept that is gaining ever more attention and showi ... more

  • Authors

    Prof. Dr. Peter Ertl

    Peter Ertl, born in 1970, studied food and biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. He obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and subsequently spent several years as a postdoc at the University of California at Ber ... more

    Dr. Kurt Brunner

    Kurt Brunner, born in 1973 graduated in Technical Chemistry from TU Vienna before obtaining his doctorate from the University’s Institute of Chemical Engineering in 2003. While preparing his thesis, he worked on the molecular biology of fungi. Following research work conducted at the Univer ... more

    Prof. Dr. Marko D. Mihovilovic

    Marko D. Mihovilovic graduated in technical chemistry at the Vienna University of Technology in 1993, also receiving his doctorate from the same university in 1996, in the field of organic synthetic chemistry. Post-doc placements as an Erwin Schrödinger scholarship holder then followed at t ... more

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