5. Project

Gut-on-a-chip modelling microbiome dysbiosis

The human gut and its resident microbiota play an important role in key metabolic processes which impact overall human physiology, most notably digestion of food components, synthesis of essential vitamins, and the removal of toxins and carcinogens. The epithelial cells, which form the lining of the gut, are metabolically highly active and create an essential barrier against enteric pathogens. If this first line of defence fails, microorganisms are able to translocate into the blood stream where they could cause systemic infections and multiple organ failure. In the project we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and tissue engineering methods to create an immunocompetent model of the human gut. The gut-on-chip model will be colonized with commensal microbiota to allow studies of microbiome-host interactions under homeostatic conditions in vitro. The aim of the project is to develop innovative tools for the investigation of physiological host-microbiome interaction at the cellular and molecular. We will contribute to extent the knowledge of pathophysiological alterations associated with human dysbiosis and identify molecular targets for the development of novel treatment strategies of dysbiosis related infections.

Gut-on-chip model: The model is composed of endothelial and epithelial cell layers creating a three-dimensional intestinal tissue in a microfluidically perfused biochip.