Honors & Awards

  • Best Postdoc Poster award, Stanford - China Cardiovascular Research Symposium - Stanford Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) (2017)
  • Stanford University Postdoc Hardship Fund award, Stanford University (2017)
  • Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (2016)
  • Finalist for Oustanding Student Paper award, IEEE MEMS 2014 conference, San Francisco (2014)
  • Finalist for Outstanding Student Paper award (12 selected out of 909 submissions), IEEE 27th International Conference Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) (2014)
  • Seed-funding grant (18k$) for patenting and market study., KTH Innovation Holding (2014)
  • Travel award in the memory of Nils and Hans Backmark., KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (2014)
  • Travel award in the memory of Nils and Hans Backmark., KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (2012)
  • 1st rank at the Swiss University National Championship in Slalom and Giant Slalom alpine skiing, Swiss Academic Ski Club, Swiss-Ski (2008)
  • 18th rank at the Swiss National Championship in Slalom alpine skiing, Swiss-Ski (2003)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Head of competition, Swiss Academic Ski Club (SAS) (2005 - 2007)

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (2008)
  • Bachelor of Science, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (2006)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Institute of Technology (2014)

Stanford Advisors


  • Gaspard Pardon, Tommy Haraldsson, Wouter Van Der Wijngaart. "United States Patent US20150203687A1 Modification of polymer surface properties", Gaspard Pardon, Tommy Haraldsson, Wouter Van Der Wijngaart

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

To advance our understanding of genetic cardiomyopathies, we need new tools to study how contractile & cellular function are affected by specific gene mutations.

Using cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC-CM) as in vitro model, my research focuses on understanding how the microenvironment affect genetic heart disease progression.

For this, I develop novel analytical platforms using microengineering and biomaterial technologies.

Lab Affiliations

  • Helen Blau, Blau lab (9/1/2018)
  • Beth L. Pruitt, Microsystems and Mechanobiology lab (9/1/2016 - 8/31/2018)


All Publications

  • Producing Collagen Micro-stripes with Aligned Fibers for Cell Migration Assays. Cellular and molecular bioengineering Mohammed, D., Pardon, G., Versaevel, M., Bruyère, C., Alaimo, L., Luciano, M., Vercruysse, E., Pruitt, B. L., Gabriele, S. 2020; 13 (1): 87?98


    The orientation of collagen fibers in native tissues plays an important role in cell signaling and mediates the progression of tumor cells in breast cancer by a contact guidance mechanism. Understanding how migration of epithelial cells is directed by the alignment of collagen fibers requires in vitro assays with standardized orientations of collagen fibers.To address this issue, we produced micro-stripes with aligned collagen fibers using an easy-to-use and versatile approach based on the aspiration of a collagen solution within a microchannel. Glass coverslips were functionalized with a (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane/glutaraldehyde linkage to covalently anchor micro-stripes of aligned collagen fibers, whereas microchannels were functionalized with a poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO) nonionic triblock polymer to prevent adhesion of the collagen micro-stripes.Using this strategy, microchannels can be peeled off to expose micro-stripes of aligned collagen fibers without affecting their mechanical integrity. We used time-lapse confocal reflection microscopy to characterize the polymerization kinetics of collagen networks for different concentrations and the orientation of collagen fibers as a function of the microchannel width. Our results indicate a non-linear concentration dependence of the area of fluorescence, suggesting that the architecture of collagen networks is sensitive to small changes in concentration. We show the possibility to influence the collagen fibril coverage by adjusting the concentration of the collagen solution.We applied this novel approach to study the migration of epithelial cells, demonstrating that collagen micro-stripes with aligned fibers represent a valuable in-vitro assay for studying cell contact guidance mechanisms.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12195-019-00600-4

    View details for PubMedID 32030110

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6981333

  • Extracellular matrix micropatterning technology for whole cell cryogenic electron microscopy studies JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING Engel, L., Gaietta, G., Dow, L. P., Swif, M. F., Pardon, G., Volkmann, N., Weis, W., Hanein, D., Pruitt, B. L. 2019; 29 (11)
  • Engineering hiPSC cardiomyocyte in vitro model systems for functional and structural assessment PROGRESS IN BIOPHYSICS & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Schroer, A., Pardon, G., Castillo, E., Blair, C., Pruitt, B. 2019; 144: 3?15
  • Reaction injection molding of hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic femtolitre-well arrays. Microsystems & nanoengineering Zandi Shafagh, R., Decrop, D., Ven, K., Vanderbeke, A., Hanusa, R., Breukers, J., Pardon, G., Haraldsson, T., Lammertyn, J., van der Wijngaart, W. 2019; 5: 25


    Patterning of micro- and nanoscale topologies and surface properties of polymer devices is of particular importance for a broad range of life science applications, including cell-adhesion assays and highly sensitive bioassays. The manufacturing of such devices necessitates cumbersome multiple-step fabrication procedures and results in surface properties which degrade over time. This critically hinders their wide-spread dissemination. Here, we simultaneously mold and surface energy pattern microstructures in off-stoichiometric thiol-ene by area-selective monomer self-assembly in a rapid micro-reaction injection molding cycle. We replicated arrays of 1,843,650 hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic femtolitre-wells with long-term stable surface properties and magnetically trapped beads with 75% and 87.2% efficiency in single- and multiple-seeding events, respectively. These results form the basis for ultrasensitive digital biosensors, specifically, and for the fabrication of medical devices and life science research tools, generally.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41378-019-0065-2

    View details for PubMedID 31231538

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6545322

  • Engineering hiPSC cardiomyocyte invitro model systems for functional and structural assessment. Progress in biophysics and molecular biology Schroer, A., Pardon, G., Castillo, E., Blair, C., Pruitt, B. 2018


    The study of human cardiomyopathies and the development and testing of new therapies has long been limited by the availability of appropriate invitro model systems. Cardiomyocytes are highly specialized cells whose internal structure and contractile function are sensitive to the local microenvironment and the combination of mechanical and biochemical cues they receive. The complementary technologies of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) derived cardiomyocytes (CMs) and microphysiological systems (MPS) allow for precise control of the genetics and microenvironment of human cells in invitro contexts. These combined systems also enable quantitative measurement of mechanical function and intracellular organization. This review describes relevant factors in the myocardium microenvironment that affect CM structure and mechanical function and demonstrates the application of several engineered microphysiological systems for studying development, disease, and drug discovery.

    View details for PubMedID 30579630

  • Big bottlenecks in cardiovascular tissue engineering COMMUNICATIONS BIOLOGY Huang, N. F., Serpooshan, V., Morris, V. B., Sayed, N., Pardon, G., Abilez, O. J., Nakayama, K. H., Pruitt, B. L., Wu, S. M., Yoon, Y., Zhang, J., Wu, J. C. 2018; 1
  • Big bottlenecks in cardiovascular tissue engineering. Communications biology Huang, N. F., Serpooshan, V., Morris, V. B., Sayed, N., Pardon, G., Abilez, O. J., Nakayama, K. H., Pruitt, B. L., Wu, S. M., Yoon, Y., Zhang, J., Wu, J. C. 2018; 1: 199


    Although tissue engineering using human-induced pluripotent stem cells is a promising approach for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, some limiting factors include the survival, electrical integration, maturity, scalability, and immune response of three-dimensional (3D) engineered tissues. Here we discuss these important roadblocks facing the tissue engineering field and suggest potential approaches to overcome these challenges.

    View details for PubMedID 30480100

  • Sampling and detection of airborne influenza virus towards point-of-care applications. PloS one Ladhani, L., Pardon, G., Meeuws, H., van Wesenbeeck, L., Schmidt, K., Stuyver, L., van der Wijngaart, W. 2017; 12 (3): e0174314


    Airborne transmission of the influenza virus contributes significantly to the spread of this infectious pathogen, particularly over large distances when carried by aerosol droplets with long survival times. Efficient sampling of virus-loaded aerosol in combination with a low limit of detection of the collected virus could enable rapid and early detection of airborne influenza virus at the point-of-care setting. Here, we demonstrate a successful sampling and detection of airborne influenza virus using a system specifically developed for such applications. Our system consists of a custom-made electrostatic precipitation (ESP)-based bioaerosol sampler that is coupled with downstream quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis. Aerosolized viruses are sampled directly into a miniaturized collector with liquid volume of 150 ?L, which constitutes a simple and direct interface with subsequent biological assays. This approach reduces sample dilution by at least one order of magnitude when compared to other liquid-based aerosol bio-samplers. Performance of our ESP-based sampler was evaluated using influenza virus-loaded sub-micron aerosols generated from both cultured and clinical samples. Despite the miniaturized collection volume, we demonstrate a collection efficiency of at least 10% and sensitive detection of a minimum of 3721 RNA copies. Furthermore, we show that an improved extraction protocol can allow viral recovery of down to 303 RNA copies and a maximum sampler collection efficiency of 47%. A device with such a performance would reduce sampling times dramatically, from a few hours with current sampling methods down to a couple of minutes with our ESP-based bioaerosol sampler.

    View details for PubMedID 28350811

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5369763

  • Single-Step Imprinting of Femtoliter Microwell Arrays Allows Digital Bioassays with Attomolar Limit of Detection. ACS applied materials & interfaces Decrop, D., Pardon, G., Brancato, L., Kil, D., Zandi Shafagh, R., Kokalj, T., Haraldsson, T., Puers, R., van der Wijngaart, W., Lammertyn, J. 2017; 9 (12): 10418?26


    Bead-based microwell array technology is growing as an ultrasensitive analysis tool as exemplified by the successful commercial applications from Illumina and Quanterix for nucleic acid analysis and ultrasensitive protein measurements, respectively. High-efficiency seeding of magnetic beads is key for these applications and is enhanced by hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic microwell arrays, which are unfortunately often expensive or labor-intensive to manufacture. Here, we demonstrate a new single-step manufacturing approach for imprinting cheap and disposable hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic microwell arrays suitable for digital bioassays. Imprinting of arrays with hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic microwells is made possible using an innovative surface energy replication approach by means of a hydrophobic thiol-ene polymer formulation. In this polymer, hydrophobic-moiety-containing monomers self-assemble at the hydrophobic surface of the imprinting stamp, which results in a hydrophobic replica surface after polymerization. After removing the stamp, microwells with hydrophobic walls and a hydrophilic bottom are obtained. We demonstrate that the hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic imprinted microwell arrays enable successful and efficient self-assembly of individual water droplets and seeding of magnetic beads with loading efficiencies up to 96%. We also demonstrate the suitability of the microwell arrays for the isolation and digital counting of single molecules achieving a limit of detection of 17.4 aM when performing a streptavidin-biotin binding assay as model system. Since this approach is up-scalable through reaction injection molding, we expect it will contribute substantially to the translation of ultrasensitive digital microwell array technology toward diagnostic applications.

    View details for PubMedID 28266828

  • Off-stoichiometry improves the photostructuring of thiol-enes through diffusion-induced monomer depletion. Microsystems & nanoengineering Hillmering, M., Pardon, G., Vastesson, A., Supekar, O., Carlborg, C. F., Brandner, B. D., van der Wijngaart, W., Haraldsson, T. 2016; 2: 15043


    Thiol-enes are a group of alternating copolymers with highly ordered networks and are used in a wide range of applications. Here, "click" chemistry photostructuring in off-stoichiometric thiol-enes is shown to induce microscale polymeric compositional gradients due to species diffusion between non-illuminated and illuminated regions, creating two narrow zones with distinct compositions on either side of the photomask feature boundary: a densely cross-linked zone in the illuminated region and a zone with an unpolymerized highly off-stoichiometric monomer composition in the non-illuminated region. Using confocal Raman microscopy, it is here explained how species diffusion causes such intricate compositional gradients in the polymer and how off-stoichiometry results in improved image transfer accuracy in thiol-ene photostructuring. Furthermore, increasing the functional group off-stoichiometry and decreasing the photomask feature size is shown to amplify the induced gradients, which potentially leads to a new methodology for microstructuring.

    View details for PubMedID 31057810

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6444721

  • Pt-Al2O3 dual layer atomic layer deposition coating in high aspect ratio nanopores. Nanotechnology Pardon, G., Gatty, H. K., Stemme, G., van der Wijngaart, W., Roxhed, N. 2013; 24 (1): 015602


    Functional nanoporous materials are promising for a number of applications ranging from selective biofiltration to fuel cell electrodes. This work reports the functionalization of nanoporous membranes using atomic layer deposition (ALD). ALD is used to conformally deposit platinum (Pt) and aluminum oxide (Al(2)O(3)) on Pt in nanopores to form a metal-insulator stack inside the nanopore. Deposition of these materials inside nanopores allows the addition of extra functionalities to nanoporous materials such as anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes. Conformal deposition of Pt on such materials enables increased performances for electrochemical sensing applications or fuel cell electrodes. An additional conformal Al(2)O(3) layer on such a Pt film forms a metal-insulator-electrolyte system, enabling field effect control of the nanofluidic properties of the membrane. This opens novel possibilities in electrically controlled biofiltration. In this work, the deposition of these two materials on AAO membranes is investigated theoretically and experimentally. Successful process parameters are proposed for a reliable and cost-effective conformal deposition on high aspect ratio three-dimensional nanostructures. A device consisting of a silicon chip supporting an AAO membrane of 6 mm diameter and 1.3 ?m thickness with 80 nm diameter pores is fabricated. The pore diameter is reduced to 40 nm by a conformal deposition of 11 nm Pt and 9 nm Al(2)O(3) using ALD.

    View details for PubMedID 23221022

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