3D Organ-on-a-chip Applications Using the AIM Biotech Chip

Presented by

Kuan Chee Mun and Mahama Aziz Traore

About this talk

In vitro 3D cell culture models have emerged as a bridge between conventional 2D cell culture models and the complex & expensive in vivo animal models. By analyzing and comparing the biological behavior of tissues embedded in 3 dimensional hydrogels, results are significantly different from classic 2D cell culture in terms of proliferation, morphology, drug response and gene expression. These differences have been attributed to the topographically complex 3D environment surrounding the cells, where cell adhesion, structure, effector transport and mechanotransduction are substantially altered. A carefully designed 3D model can provide more physiologically relevant information using experimental designs unachievable by conventional 2D assays at a fraction of the cost of in vivo models. Current 3D cell culture assays like hanging drop culture often lack the capability to organize different co-cultured cell types in a meaningful way. The application of chemical gradients or flow is usually not possible. We are now able to address this issue with a modular microfluidic platform that can co-culture multiple cell types in discrete 3D and 2D channels. Organotypic assays with animal model-like complexities using human cells have been developed for research, drug discovery & diagnostics. These include models for immune checkpoint, T-cell killing efficiency, angiogenesis, metastasis, cell migration, microvascular networks and the blood-brain barrier. Additional applications that focus on a liver model will also be discussed. Drug Induced Liver Injuries (DILI) contributes to drug failures, drug withdrawals and acute liver failures. The liver strongly interacts with other organ systems and in some instances the metabolites secreted by the liver are responsible for other organs' injury. Engineered 3D liver models may increase the physiological relevance of drug toxicity by maintaining the expression levels of key cytochrome P450 enzymes and metabolic activity in liver cells.

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