Henriette Lanz, Mimetas, Leiden, The Netherlands
The challenge in creating better biomimetic models lies in capturing the 3D morphology, heterogeneity and boundary aspects of tissues. Our platform allows for a stratified layering of ECM gels optionally alternated with medium perfusion channels.
Multiple lanes could be defined with the help of capillary pressure barriers called phaseguides. Clusters of cells are grown in the ECM matrix to provide a natural 3D tissue environment. Monolayers of cells deposited against the ECM matrix form boundary tissues that develop into tubuli. The 3D environment enables long term culture and differentiation of cell clusters. iPS neurons were grown over two months and showed both induced and spontaneous electrophysiological activity as shown by in chip transfected calcium reporters. Lgr5+ small intestinal organoids developed crypt-villi morphology that is typically associated with gut epithelium. Endothelial and epithelial vessels were co-cultured with pericytes to capture the heterogeneity of organs. Our organ-on-a-chip platform is based on a microtiter plate footprint, harboring 96 culture chambers, and fully compatible with both HCS fluorescent and luminescent readout.