In the Applied Stem Cell Technologies group, we use a number of well-characterized, microfluidic 'platforms' for our organ-on-chip models. The platforms are briefly described below, together with some of the key publications and examples of how they have been applied. The list is not exhaustive: new platforms are continuously being developed in our group.
The basic vessel-chip is a simple microfluidic channel of approximately 0.5 mm wide, 0.1 mm high and 2 cm long. The surfaces of the channels are fully covered with endothelial cells, and fluids can be perfused in the chips at controlled flow rates.
The most basic description of the vessel-chip can be found in Jain, Van der Meer, et al. "Assessment of whole blood thrombosis in a microfluidic device lined by fixed human endothelium." Biomedical microdevices 18(4):73 (2016).
The basic vessel-chip technology has been applied in many projects, for example:
- Studying uptake of LDL by endothelium under various conditions of fluid flow. Van der Meer, et al. "Flow cytometric analysis of the uptake of low‐density lipoprotein by endothelial cells in microfluidic channels." Cytometry Part A 77.10:971-975 (2010).
- Studying endothelial wound healing under physiological shear stress. Van der Meer, et al. "A microfluidic wound-healing assay for quantifying endothelial cell migration." American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 298(2):H719-H725 (2009).
- Studying endothelial morphological alignment in response to shear stress. Van der Meer, et al. "Analyzing shear stress-induced alignment of actin filaments in endothelial cells with a microfluidic assay." Biomicrofluidics 4(1):011103 (2010).
- Analyzing thrombosis caused by disturbed blood flow. Westein, Van der Meer, et al. "Atherosclerotic geometries exacerbate pathological thrombus formation poststenosis in a von Willebrand factor-dependent manner." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(4):1357-1362 (2013).
- Integration in a lung-chip to study epithelial-endothelial-platelet cross-talk in pulmonary inflammation. Jain, Barrile, et al. "A primary human lung alveolus‐on‐a‐chip model of intravascular thrombosis for assessment of therapeutics." Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2017).
The 3D vessel-chip is a microfluidic channel with of 1 mm width, 1 mm height and 2 cm length, filled with an extracellular matrix hydrogel, containing a hollow lumen lined by endothelium.
The most basic description of the 3D vessel-chip can be found in Herland, Van der Meer, et al. "Distinct contributions of astrocytes and pericytes to neuroinflammation identified in a 3D human blood-brain barrier on a chip." PLoS One 11(3):e0150360 (2016).
The 3D vessel-chip technology is currently being applied in multiple projects (e.g. in building a retina-on-a-chip and a neurovascular unit-on-chip).