12. Project

Integration of on-chip TEER measurement and of iPSC-derived epithelial cells in the HuMiX gut/microbiome model

Organs-on-a-chip technologies hold great potential for the life sciences as these technologies can be used to more closely model human physiological conditions and to reduce the need of animal models. In this project, we will further develop our microfluidics-based human-microbial co-culture system named HuMiX to model the human gut. Specifically, human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs) will be combined with the microbiome thereby paving the way for individualized gut-on-a-chip models. TEER measurements will be integrated additionally to enable online monitoring. Finally, the project aims to link our gut-on-a-chip model with a liver model to enable the study of the gut-liver axis. This is relevant as epithelial cells, which form the lining of the gut, are metabolically highly active and form an essential barrier against enteric pathogens. Studying this first line of defence will help gain insights into two major mechanisms, immune-related as well as pathogen-related signalling, in the context of barrier breakdown which represents a typical pathological change in system infection.