A Microfluidic Chip based Model for the Study of Full Thickness Human Intestinal Tissue
The dual-flow device is designed to mimic the human body and maintain tissue in a functional state ex-vivo. This can be used for the investigation into diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohns disease and Ulcerative Colitis. As the causes of IBD remain unknown many patients with extensive disease may develop complications that are potentially life-threatening, including an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The device has been characterised to ensure the tissue remains viable for up to 72 hours. Tissue has been investigated through measuring cell death via LDH release, cell proliferation via Ki-67 staining and MTS, and also through histology by H&E and PAS staining. IBD is thought to be caused by an influx of luminal content into the mucus layer of the gut stimulating an inflammatory response. Investigations using biopsies with an intact layer of mucus have shown that inflammatory markers (e.g. IL-10, IL-12 and calprotectin) are detectable in the effluent. The device provides a platform that allows the complex interaction between the host, mucus production and the commensal bacteria to be studied; providing a same species model for investigation of IBD. It is simple to use and is easily adopted by other research laboratories.