Development and optimisation of biological processes using multidisciplinary approaches: stem cell engineering and reprogramming, microfluidics, biomaterials and computational biology

Fine tuning of cellular microenvironment (soluble and physical) is crucial to obtain robust output from various cell processes, like stem cell differentiation to a specific lineage. Dr. Chowdhury demonstrated that scaling down of stem cell culture (by using microfluidics) can activate their autocrine signalling and maintain their phenotype more robustly than conventional cultures. In addition, by developing a mathematical model of the culture system, he determined the dimensional requirement of the culture system to activate autocrine signalling.

Dr Mahfuz Chowdhury also developed pericytes and endothelial cell co-culture on hydrogels which enhanced organ-specific behaviour of endothelial cells that modulated cancer cell adhesion in an organ-specific manner.

He has recently fabricated and optimised hydrogel systems to improve fibroblast reprogramming into Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs).

Dr Mahfuz Chowdhury completed his MSc in Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and his PhD with The University of Tokyo. He was awarded Korea Research Foundation and Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Scholarships for his MSc and PhD research.

His research focuses on developing advanced cell culture systems for optimising cellular processes or drug screening. Currently, he is investigating the impact of ageing on angiogenesis processes by utilising hydrogels, microfluidic and 3D printing.


Key Publications

  1. Horiguchi, I., Chowdhury, M. M., Sakai, Y., & Tabata, Y. (2014). Proliferation, morphology, and pluripotency of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells in three different types of alginate beads for mass production. Biotechnology progress30(4), 896-904.
  2. Chowdhury, M. M., Danoy, M., Rahman, F., Shinohara, M., Kaneda, S., Shiba, K., ... & Sakai, Y. (2014). Adhesion of pancreatic cancer cells in a liver-microvasculature mimicking coculture correlates with their propensity to form liver-specific metastasis in vivo. BioMed research international2014.
  3. Chowdhury, M. M., Fujii, T., & Sakai, Y. (2013). Importance of a diffusion-dominant small volume to activate cell-secreted soluble factor signaling in embryonic stem cell culture in microbioreactors: A mathematical model based study. Journal of bioscience and bioengineering116(1), 118-125.
  4. Katsuda, T., Teratani, T., Chowdhury, M. M., Ochiya, T., & Sakai, Y. (2013). Hypoxia efficiently induces differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into endodermal and hepatic progenitor cells. Biochemical engineering journal74, 95-101.
  5. Iwasawa, K., Tanaka, G., Aoyama, T., Chowdhury, M. M., Komori, K., Tanaka-Kagawa, T., ... & Sakai, Y. (2013). Prediction of Phthalate Permeation Through Pulmonary Alveoli using a Cultured A549 Cell-based in Vitro Alveolus Model and a Numerical Simulation. Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation18(1), 19-31.
  6. Chowdhury, M. M., Kimura, H., Fujii, T., & Sakai, Y. (2012). Induction of alternative fate other than default neuronal fate of embryonic stem cells in a membrane-based two-chambered microbioreactor by cell-secreted BMP4. Biomicrofluidics6(1), 014117.
  7. Chowdhury, M. M., Kim, D., & Ahn, J. K. (2011). A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for absorption and distribution of imatinib in human body. Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society32(11), 3967-3972.
  8. Chowdhury, M. M., Katsuda, T., Montagne, K., Kimura, H., Kojima, N., Akutsu, H., ... & Sakai, Y. (2010). Enhanced effects of secreted soluble factor preserve better pluripotent state of embryonic stem cell culture in a membrane-based compartmentalized micro-bioreactor. Biomedical microdevices12(6), 1097-1105.