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Professor Cornelis B (Nils) Lambalk

Professor Lambalk’s research interests include neuroendocrinology of reproduction with a focus on interaction between brain function and reproductive hormones, GnRH analogs, physiology of natural twinning, reproduction with ageing and after cancer survival, polycystic ovarian syndrome and embryo quality and embryo implantation.

He is currently a gynaecologist/fertility specialist with a focus on reproductive endocrinology and since 1992 has been based at the Division of Reproductive Medicine, VU University Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam. Since October 2009, Professor Lambalk has been Guest Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Obstetrics at the University of Gent in Belgium.

Professor Lambalk has published over 100 papers and book chapters on subjects related to his research interests. He is editorial board member of Twin Research and RBM Online and the Journal of Human Reproductive Science, emeritus associated editor for Human Reproduction, associated editor of the Journal of Human Reproduction, editorial consultant for the Lancet. He is member of the Dutch Society of Reproductive Medicine (DSRM), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the Endocrine Society, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the International Society on Twin Studies (ISTS).


Project: C-μART - Culture in Microfluidics for Assisted Reproduction Techniques

The project C-μART which stands for Culture in Microfluidics for Assisted Reproduction Techniques of Dr Le Gac and Professor Lambalk focuses on the use of microfluidics for developing a novel integrated platform for embryo culture and characterization.

The main goals of the project are as follows. First, we propose to employ a novel format for the culture of the embryos, with the use of a close system with a well-defined culture volume of 30-500 nL. With this format, the embryo microenvironment is well-defined, and embryo can be cultured in a dynamic way. Such microfluidic devices have been developed in my group and successfully tested on mouse embryos, cultured in groups or single, in the frame of another collaboration with the Max Planck Institute and Professor Schlatt, in Muenster. In the frame of this project, we will validate their applicability for human embryos. Second, the use of a microfluidic format enables to perform measurements in real-time on the embryo microenvironment. For instance, sensors can be integrated in the device, and we will focus here on the integration of an oxygen sensor to characterize the embryo environment and its growth rate and quality. Alternatively, the culture microchamber can be coupled for on-line measurements of the culture medium. This will be applied here for characterizing the embryo viability using metabolic profiling and the technique of near-infrared spectroscopy that is routinely used in the group of Professor Lambalk.

The resulting integrated sensing microfluidic platform can be applied not only to generate higher quality embryos (improved culture conditions), but also as a research tool to screen various culture parameters and investigate their impact on the embryo development.