TU Delft iGEM Team of 2015
Our team consists of nine ambitious students with interdisciplinary backgrounds from Delft University of Technology and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Hover or click on each of our photos to find more information about us.
Max van't Hof
Hi! After doing the bachelor Life Science & Technology and being board member of the study association for one year I'm currently doing the master Life Science & Technology. I'm the science manager of this year's team. For me iGEM is a nice practical application of my master and also a good way to learn more about other subjects like policy & practice, fundraising and design.
After my Bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Basel (CH), I was looking for a new challenge which I found in the Life Science & Technology Master and the iGEM competition. Biotechnology is a powerful tool to drive innovation towards greater sustainability in the chemical industry. My role is the scientific specification of our construct and hardware requirements for it to be put into practice. During my free time I fence saber on national level and I recently participated as a dancer in a theater production.
Hey! I enrolled into iGEM because I saw it as a really challenging project, especially with respect to my background. I finished Automation and Computer Science at UT Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and am currently doing a Management of Technology Master's at TU Delft. Within iGEM, I am responsible of the Wiki and help with Policy and Practice efforts. I like to play football, video games and meet people from all over the world.
Samantha Basalo Vazquez
After completing my Bachelor in Chemical Engineering, I switched to the Master Life Science and Technology as I became intrigued by the eco-friendly production of useful products made by bacteria. With a prior background in chemical modeling, the position of modeling manager was the best fit for me! Besides my studies, I enjoy painting, swimming and travelling.
Hector Sanguesa Ferrer
I am an enthusiastic student from Morella, Spain, who is working hard for the Master program in Life Sciences and Technology. After some years studying my Bachelor’s degree in Barcelona, I moved to Delft looking for new experiences in biotechnology. Here I had the great opportunity to join the iGem team, where I am responsible of safety issues and lab management. In my free time, I enjoy doing sport and reading; I could say I enjoy playing football as much as I enjoy science.
Ciao, I am an ambitious, motivated and open-minded student with interest in both the biotechnology and science communication. Being the policy and practice manager gave me the excellent opportunity to explore both sides; a perfect combination between science and communication. Besides iGEM I really enjoy singing in my jazz band ‘The Bowties’, cooking delicious dinners for my friends and drinking wine or Belgian beers.
Hi! I am Liana, a Computer Science Engineer from Romania. I am currently doing my Master in Management of Technology. I joined iGEM because of its multidisciplinarity long term project. I am the team leader and part of the wiki and policy and practice teams. Along iGEM I enjoy travelling and cooking (eating :) ) delicious Italian and Japanese food.
Marit van der Does
Hi. I'm a third year bachelor Nanobiology student . The reason I joined iGEM was to get more practical experience. I learn a lot during my study programme, but I also wanted to learn how to use that knowledge. I am the Public Relations Manger of the team, but I also help a lot with the modelling and the lab work.
I'm a fourth year student, studying biological and medical laboratory studies. I joined the team to gain more practical experience, and insight in different subjects. Together with the entire team, I believe that we'll be able to set up a great project. I am the Fundraising and Budget Manager of the team.
Besides all the hard work in the office and lab, we became friends and did a lot of activities with the team. It was a great experience to learn more about each other.
A team is not only about getting the work done, but also about trust and having fun. To work on our teamwork and spirit we did some team sports like beach volleyball and basketball. After intensive sporting we always enjoyed beers.
We also had beer time during the hottest day of the summer, when we took a day off and relaxed at the beach of Scheveningen. Additionally, we all enjoyed the free barbecue with drinks in company of the Netherlands’ very occasional sun after the business case.
The team is advised by experts in the fields of biotechnology, bionanoscience and applied physics.
Team Members Attributions
During the iGEM Project we each contributed to the final result of the Biolinker. From organizing events, to working in the lab, hardware, modeling or policy and practice, credits go to the whole Biolink team.
Liana - Team Leader
As the team leader I was overseeing project progress and keeping track of deadlines. Held weekly report meetings and ensured that the project is going well as a whole. Organized Jamboree travel arrangements. Programmed most of the wiki website, added content and helped design it. Helped individual managers in their tasks - worked with Michelle on the Policy & Practice case study, helped Anne with organizing Fund Raising, helped Marit with PR efforts. Contributed to good team cohesion and ensured that communication goes smoothly, within the team, with supervisors and supporters, and with other project stakeholders.
Max - Science Manager
I have worked with several others on the scientific background of the project and formulating the goals. This also involved the development of assays needed to assess whether we actually achieved these goals. Next to this I have worked a lot in the lab on different aspects, ranging from standard plasmid isolation and restriction/ligation to imaging samples with the spinning disk microscope. I really enjoyed working on the design of e.g. promotional material, presentations and the hardware manual. Further I presented at the RIVM/Rathenau event and will present at the Jamboree. Additionally, I have helped with development of the 3D printer and financials, although most credits go to fellow team members.
Hector - Lab Manager & Safety Manager
As Lab Manager, my function inside the group has been the design and coordination of the experiments performed in the laboratory. Also, I have been involved in the supply of the necessary materials for the project. On the other hand, as Safety Manager, I have been checking the regulations that apply to every module of our project, and checking their fulfillment in the working area. Specifically, the project parts where I worked were: lab setup, cloning experiments, characterization experiment, modeling counseling, safety forms fulfillment, protocol design, presentation storyline writing and wiki content writing. Furthermore, I actively helped the other team members in punctual tasks along the summer.
Samantha - Modeling Manager
As the Modeling Manager, I was responsible for translating the biological and chemical processes leading to biofilm formation in mathematical models. This included developing a model able to predict the protein production capacity of our cells and developing a model able to estimate the strength of our formed biofilm. In order for the modeling to have good synergy with the lab, I designed and performed experiments supporting the biological modeling. Furthermore, I interpreted and statistically analyzed part of the experiments and made the comic images throughout our wiki trying to explain our project in an accessible manner. Finally, it was my idea to build our 3D printer with K’NEX and subsequently build our first prototype.
Stefan - Hardware Manager
As the Hardware Manager of this project my task was to gain an overview of current bioprinting literature in order to design and lead the experiments in the wetlab connected to our prototype. This included identifying relevant parameters and continuously optimizing the conditions under which we could achieve the best results with our prototype 3D printer using bacterial bioink. The printer prototype itself was built by Samantha, Anne and Marit. Characterisation of movement and performance was my task again. In the design phase I was largely involved in developing the project idea and designing the biobricks required to meet our goals. Following this, I mostly spent my time in the wetlab working on the Interlab Study and cloning the devices for our biobricks. Finally I was partly involved in modeling and policy and practice, but most credit must be attributed to other team members there.
Michelle - Policy and Practice Manager
As the Policy and Practice manager I was responsible for finding all interesting applications for our project. For the data collection, required for the “Business Plan” and “Expert’s opinion”, I searched for, contacted and interviewed researchers, scientists and managers. I really enjoyed working with Tudor writing all the content on the Policy & Practice part. Furthermore, I was responsible for organizing our stand during ‘A Day of Wonder’, the business case and designing the workshop for the Science Centre Delft. During the RIVM/Rathenau event, Max and I presented and discussed our project. Next to this, I was responsible for the idea and design of the P&P tool and for setting up the P&P collaborations. I supported Marit also with PR activities, such as talking with the press advisors of the TU Delft and the communication advisor of our faculty. Additionally, I have helped with the financials and lab journal reporting, although most credits go to fellow team members.
Tudor - Wiki Manager
Designed and supervised how the wiki was built. Helped Liana with implementing website functionality, layout and adding content. Based on literature review, market analysis and data collection (questionnaires and interviews), wrote the “Business plan” and “How to write a business plan” sections. Helped with designing questionnaires and sending them out to researchers, scientists and managers, and contributed to analyzing responses. Helped Michelle with policy and practice efforts and wiki content writing, including ethics, regulations, outreach and overview.
Marit - PR Manager
As PR manager my function was managing contact with the community. Therefore I placed weekly, or more often, updates on facebook and twitter. I went with Michelle to the communication advisors of the TU Delft, and with their help arranged radio interviews. I also coordinated our project movie, and managed to get articles on different websites and magazines. Besides PR, I helped support others in their managing tasks. For policy and practice I joined Michelle with a few of her interviews, including organising the day of wonder, and we are going to organize a workshop in the Science Center of Delft for kids. For the modelling, I wrote the biofilm strength model, and helped develop the other models. For the wet lab, I helped whenever needed, such as doing the western blot experiment and the TEM microscopy. For Hardware, i arranged that we get all the Knex, and was part of the designing process of the 3D-printers, creating the manual, and joined Anne to Groningen. For the Interlab studies, I made the statistical analysis of the data.
Anne - Budget and Fundraising Manager
As my manager name suggests, I handled all financial administration for the team, and acquired the sponsors. For the wet lab, I helped in the lab with cloning, and digitalising the lab book. For hardware, I made the “Building the printer” movie, helped design the last version of the printer with Marit, and organized the collaboration with Groningen with Marit and Biolinker. For Policy and Practice, I helped Michelle with the Day of Wonder, the collaborations with iGEM teams, and the RIVM/Rathenau. Besides my main function, I regularly checked documents for spelling mistakes (my second function being the spelling checker). For the final presentation, Max and I will be presenting.
Our team received a lot of media attention especially due to our printer.
Apart from telling our story on the national radio, we were featured in the written press. We appeared in the Physicus Applied Physics Article, the AD Delft Newspaper and the HRO Website. With all this media attention, we were motivated that we are working for a meaningful, interesting subject!
The K'NEX Story
In the Hardware page we explained how we arrived to the final design of our 3D Printer, The Biolinker. Here you can read about our adventure in finding the pieces to build our Biolinker. This page also shows our media interaction with respect to our Biolinker: radio interviews and presence in newspaper, articles or websites. We were surprised to find so much enthusiasm for our project, and we hope that we made synthetic biology and bioprinting more well known to society.
Building the Biolinker was really exciting, but suddenly we had a practical problem: we didn’t have enough K’NEX to finish this design. With what we had until then, the printer could move on the X axis (structure on the left side of the picture). We ran out of K’NEX when working on the Y axis, the structure on the right side of the picture.
At first, we wanted to buy new K’NEX online. However, the packages specific to our needs were expensive . Thus, we decided to reach out to people via media on twitter, facebook, and radio. In a few minutes we had already retweets, and in no time we got an email from 3FM (national Dutch radio station) for a live request on national radio. So Sunday morning we were live on the radio show Weekend Wijnand. Within an hour, Marijn van Iersel (an 11 year old boy () called the radio station, willing to donate us his K’NEX.
In the same day we were called from another radio station, Omroep West for an interview about our project in their morning show. We also featured on their website. Ever since the radio interviews we kept receiving emails from people all around the country willing to donate K’NEX. We’d like to thank them by adding their photos and short stories here.
Jaqueline Oolthuis. This very dedicated lady lives in Doetinchem. She was very interested in our project, sending us a crate of K’NEX. She was excited to see the printer when it is finished!
On the 18th of August we made a tour through South Holland to collect all the K’NEX. It was very nice to see that so many people were interested in our project and willing to help. Jan was the first person who reacted on our twitter message. He works at Aerospace Engineering (TU Delft) and he had the specific red gears that we desperately needed.
Laura van Dijk. After Jan we drove to Den Hoorn. After getting lost a few times we finally found the right house. Here we found a 6 year old boy. His mother told us that he was bored of playing with the K’NEX within a few weeks. He definitely had no idea what cool stuff you can build with K’NEX, so we invited him to come by the office to see that.
Jelle Dijkstra. Then we travelled farther to Oegstgeest. At first, there was no one home. Jelle told us to that he had left the parts next to the front door. Luckily, he just came home when we found the package, so we could thank him personally.
Marjan Berkheij. We were already really satisfied with the amount of K’NEX we got, but when we arrived at the next address in Katwijk, we could not believe our eyes. Marjan had 5 boxes full with K'NEX. She told us her sons were already in their twenties, so they don’t use it anymore. She wanted to give it to charity, an orphanage for example, so we are going to look for a good charity organization to give it to.
Trees Prins.We drove already for a few hours through the Netherlands. For the last meeting we drove to Den Haag to Trees Prins. Now the car was full and we are ready to drive back to the office.
Leontien Smith and Max. On Friday Leontien Smith came by with her 12 year old son Max. We immediately saw that he was a real expert. He had a lot of ideas how we can improve the printer, so we sat down with him and started building. We really welcomed his advice. Afterwards, we gave him a tour through the building. He enjoyed the day very much, and so did we!
There were also people who brought the K'NEX to us, and could immediately have a look at the printer we’ve got so far. We’d like to thank Ronald Kest, Ina Venema and Iris Meijhorst for their donation!
Sorting the K’NEX
After we received everything, we started to sort through thousands of parts, some of which we didn’t know existed. We founds lots of useful parts and after sitting for a few hours with most of the team, we were done. The result was amazing, we had a sea of K’NEX to chose from for designing the perfect DIY 3D printer.
Donating to Charity
The K'NEX we received have been put to great use, as shown on the hardware page .Thanks to the generosity of so many people, we received far more K'NEX than we required. We would therefore like to put the "left-over" K'NEX to good use. We have already donated one of the printers to the Science Center of Delft, but we want to do more. Therefore we have decided to donate the K'NEX to a suitable charity, so that others will be able to use their imagination and creativity to make whatever they desire.
We thank our partners, sponsors and supporters.
Delft University of Technology started out as the “Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers, to serve nation and industry, and of apprentices for trade” founded by King Willem II in 1842. Today it consists of eight faculties, and is among the best universities worldwide.
We would like to thank the following faculties and departments for their help and support.
Executive Board of Directors
Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Department of Biotechnology
Department of Bionanoscience
Department of Chemical Engineering
Delft Health Initiative together with medical doctors and industrial parties will apply its expertise to solve the health engineering challenges of the future. Changing the healthcare system requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving science, engineering and medicine in close collaboration with practitioners in hospitals, first-line care, nursing homes, the healthcare industry and policy makers. There is a demand for highly skilled engineers who are trained to collaborate in multi-disciplinary research teams and who use their strong engineering background for innovative solutions in the medical field. (DelftHealthInitiative.com)
“StuD is a not-for-profit organisation. The aim of the StuD Fund is to provide financial support for projects designed to benefit the students of Delft University of Technology. StuD Fund’s management team is drawn from past and present members of the StuD management team.” (stud.nl)
“The BE-Basic Foundation is an international public-private partnership that develops industrial biobased solutions to build a sustainable society. The BE-Basic Foundation initiates and stimulates collaborations between academia and industry, between scientists and entrepreneurs and between the Netherlands and abroad.” (be-basic.org)
“Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously.
DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. “ (dsm.com)
“Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences is one of the major universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. Education here has been developed to combine a mixture of knowledge accumulation, practical experience, and personal development, reflecting the practical, innovative, and hands-on mentality associated with the city of Rotterdam.” (rotterdamuas.com)
“SnapGene offers the fastest and easiest way to plan, visualize, and document your molecular biology procedures. Cloning is simpler when you can see exactly what you are doing. SnapGene is the first molecular biology software that is easier to use than pen and paper. Now every DNA construct made in your lab can be documented in a rich electronic format… and thanks to the free SnapGene Viewer, the files can be shared with colleagues around the world.” (Snapgene.com)
“Sigma-Aldrich, a leading Life Science and High Technology company focused on enhancing human health and safety, manufactures and distributes more than 250,000 chemicals, biochemicals and other essential products to more than 1.4 million customers globally in research and applied labs as well as in industrial and commercial markets..” (Sigmaaldrich.com)
”Promega is a global leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to life scientists in academic, industrial and government settings. Promega products are used by life scientists who are asking fundamental questions about biological processes as well as by scientists who are applying scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat diseases, discover new therapeutics, and use genetics and DNA testing for human identification.” (Promega.com)
Studium Generale (SG) wants to contribute to the academical forming of students, and to the societal debate about technology and engineers in this modern society. Studium Generale (SG) aim to improve the knowledge of students, employee's and other curious souls. The SG wants to contribute to the academical forming of students, and the communities discussion about the task of technology and ingenieurs in the current society (sg.tudelft.nl)
”Eppendorf is a leading life science company that develops and sells instruments, consumables, and services for liquid-, sample-, and cell handling in laboratories worldwide. The products are most broadly used in academic and commercial research laboratories. The office is registered in Germany, but has subsidiaries in 25 countries and is represented in all other markets by distributors. (Eppendorf.com)
We would like to express our gratitude to all the people who helped us through our project.
Project and advice
Anne Meyer for guiding the team
Esengul Yildirim for supervising, supporting, helping with the lab, and the management.
Dominik Schmieden for supervising, supporting, teaching Snapgen, helping with lab and the presentation training.
Helena Shomar for supervising, supporting our team, advice in PP and the presentation training.
Jorine Eeftens for supervising, supporting and advice in modelling, policy&practice, hardware and presentation training.
Eric Kamst and Aljoscha Wahl for their constructive feedback and mentorship
Executive board of directors for financial support of our efforts
Angela de Ceuninck for helping with the financial management.
Chantal Smith for handling financial administration within the team.
Ilja Westerlaken for helping with lab work and handling of chemicals
Kwaliteitsslagerij Van den Berg , butcher. Helped the team by providing the animal parts
Astrid van Uijen, provided glasswerk
Dimitri de Roos, collaborated by cutting the teeth in small parts
Hyun Youk, Liedewij Laan and Eve Helguero; for their patience working in the surrounding labs
Vanessa Ribeiro de Carvalho, for training us in the use of TEM
Marileen Dogterom for taking care of new lab equipment, work area and office space
Cees Dekker lab for the syringe pump and lab materials
Pawel Tulinski for helping us with the Western blot experiment
Erwin van Rijn for helping with the FACS samples for the interlab
Mathijs Vleugel for his explanation and assistance of the Spinning Disk Microscope
Timon Iedema for the advice given with modelling
Virgil Rerimassie for giving advice on policy and practice aspects of our project
Steven Flipse for giving advice on policy and practice aspects of our project (especially in the design of the tool)
Dr. ir. Sander van Pelt for the interview about CLEA.
Korienke Smit, Virgil Rerimassie and Jaco Westra for inviting us to present during the event organized by RIVM/Rathenau.
Santiago Salas for answering the questions we asked about product testing within Colgate.
Steve Diggle for the interview about the Steve Diggle group and how product can be beneficial for them and the research field of biofilms.
Steffen Robert Eickhardt-Sørensen for the interview about Biofilm Testing Facility at Copenhagen and giving useful advice about our project.
Dr. Jonathan Tyler of Tyler Advanced Corrosion Technologies (TACT) engineering for answering our questions about product testing/biofilm utilization.
All the participants of the business case for their nice ideas and input!
Marko de Jager from Philips for answering the questions regarding our technology and the possible applications for our project.
Henk Noorman from DSM for the interview about how our project could be applied to society
The iGEM teams of Amsterdam, KU Leuven and Berlin for agreeing on the fact that our printer could be useful for the iGEM community!
Klaas van der Tempel (and the Studium Generale staff) for helping us with organizing the business case and providing the posters/flyers used for promotion.
Mark van Loosdrecht and Aljoscha Wahl for advising us about what companies we could contact.
Carlos Mora for sharing his ideas about what we can achieve with our project.
Manuel Mazo for inspirational conversation on 3D printing and inkjet printing in special
Paul Eikelenboom from 3D-project for helping us to reach out to 3D printer companies
Roland Kieffer for input on DIY 3D printers and bioprinting in specific
Bas van Deursen of Ultimaker for input on DIY 3D printing
Groningen team for testing our printer
Michiel van Baalen for training our team members for interviews
Ilona van den Brink for supporting us in all media requests
Tanja Klop for helping us with organizing a workshop for the Science Center Delft
Frank and Frens for lending their Ultimaker 3D printer during A Day Of Wonder
Saskia Groenendijk for helping with media attention within the Faculty of Applied Sciences
Mathijs Stroober for helping us with the recording of the video
Marianne Klement for inviting us to present our project to the general public during the event ‘A Day Of Wonder’
Peter Baeten for helping us with the writing of the press release
Trip to Boston
Tania Baker for hosting our team at MIT to prepare for the Jamboree