Archive for May, 2016
It takes about 14 years and 2 billion dollars to bring a successful drug from laboratory to clinic. A large portion of this time period includes in vitro culture tests, animal tests, and clinical trials. The overall success rate of a new drug molecule making it through this entire process is only around 10%. To improve this situation, there has been a tremendous amount of work in recent years on developing in vitro organ-on-chip models. Many organ-on-chip platforms (including heart, lung, kidney, liver, and intestine) have shown to mimic organ functions on the microscale, offering the possibility to eliminate animal testing, shorten long development times, and reduce costs. More importantly, such platforms can offer personalized medicine, enabling drug molecules to be tested directly on individual patient cells without adverse side-effects or harm.
Although existing organ-on-chip models have been shown to function well individually, integrating all models into a single fluidic circuitry (or “body-on-a-chip”) remains a necessary goal to recapitulate multi-physiological functions (Figure 1). Passive tube connections and chip-based vessels have thus far been utilized for this purpose. However, bulky dead volumes created in connections, and unbalanced scaling of the volumes between organ models and chip-based vessels, seem counterintuitive to the miniaturized nature of microscale platforms. These methods may also result in miscommunication between the organ models due to the dilution of the signal molecules secreted by the cells.
This fundamental problem has recently been addressed in a practical way by Khademhosseini and co-workers, who are the first to develop polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) hollow tubes in a range of different sizes and wall thicknesses which mimic the physio-anatomical properties of blood vessels. The fabrication of the PDMS tubes was enabled by two different strategies, including both hard and soft templating (Figure 2a). After fabrication, the tube’s interior surface was coated with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) to introduce biological functions (Figure 2b). The biofunctionality of the elastomeric blood vessels was demonstrated by the expression of an endothelial biomarker and dose-dependent responses in the secretion of von Willebrand factor. The endothelialized PDMS tubes were also utilized for assessing a panel of drugs, including the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin, immunosuppressive drug rapamycin, and vasodilator medication minoxidil, as well as amiodarone, acetaminophen, and histamine (Figure 2c). Functional elastomeric blood vessels can be fabricated up to 20 cm in length, which is sufficient for interconnecting the organ-on-chip models. Moreover, tailorable wall thicknesses enable the opportunity to study various disease models, such as the effect of diabetes or hyperlipidemia on blood vessels. The elastomeric blood vessels are expected to replace the current technologies in assembling human organ-on-chip models.
To download the full article for free* click the link below:
Elastomeric free-form blood vessels for interconnecting organs on chip systems
Weijia Zhang, Yu Shrike Zhang, Syeda Mahwish Bakht, Julio Aleman, Kan Yue, Su-Ryon Shin, Marco Sica, João Ribas, Margaux Duchamp, Jie Ju, Ramin Banan Sadeghian, Duckjin Kim, Mehmet Remzi Dokmeci, Anthony Atala, and Ali Khademhosseini
Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 1579-1586
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00001K, Advance Article
Burcu Gumuscu is a PhD researcher in BIOS Lab on a Chip Group at University of Twente in The Netherlands. Her research interests include development of microfluidic devices for second generation sequencing, organ-on-chip development, and desalination of water on the micron-scale.
*Access is free until 17/06/2016 through a registered RSC account.
Lab on a Chip and Corning Incorporated are proud to sponsor the eleventh Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship, to honour and support the up and coming, next generation of scientists who have significantly contributed to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. This year’s Lectureship will be presented at the µTAS 2016 Conference in Dublin, Ireland, with the recipient receiving a prize of US$5,000.
Deadline for nominations is 1 June 2016
Submit your nominations to Lab on a Chip Editor Sarah Ruthven at LOC-RSC@rsc.org
Nominations should include:
- Full contact and affiliation details of the person making the nomination.
- A letter of nomination with the candidate’s accomplishments and why the lectureship is deserved. (The nominee must be aware that he/she has been nominated for this lectureship.)
- A list of the candidate’s relevant publications or recent work (all work should be original).
- Candidate’s scientific CV stating PhD completion date; address; and full contact details.
Who should you nominate?
Early to mid-career scientists (maximum 15 years post completion of PhD).
Scientists who have demonstrated extraordinary contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems.
Terms and Conditions
The Lectureship consists of the following elements:
- A prize of US$5,000. No other financial contribution will be offered
- A certificate recognising the winner of the lectureship
- The awardee is required to give a short lecture at the 2016 µTAS Conference
The award is for early to mid-career scientists (maximum 15 years post completion of PhD).
The award is for extraordinary or outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. This will be judged mainly through their top 1-3 papers and/or an invention documented by patents/or a commercial product. Awards and honorary memberships may also be considered.
The winner will be expected to submit at least two significant publications to Lab on a Chip in the 12 months after the lectureship is awarded.
Nominations from students and self-nominations are not permissible.
The decision on the winner of the lectureship will be made by a panel of judges, and this decision will be final.
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.
Lab on a Chip
The leading journal for miniaturization at the micro and nanoscale. Lab on a Chip supports research and development of miniaturization technologies and promotes interdisciplinary co-operation across all fields of science. The Journal also provides readers with a more fundamental understanding of miniaturization and related processes as well as the necessary tools for practical application of methods and devices.
The 32nd International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis was held at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada from April 3-7, 2016. This symposium has been running since 1989 and was originally founded by Professor Barry Karger (Northeastern University). Over the years the format of MSB 2016 has evolved into an interactive forum for the discussion of cutting-edge research on the frontiers of separation science.
Several awards were on offer at MSB 2016, but we are happy to announce that the Lab on a Chip poster prize was won by Nicolas Drouin of the University of Genevea, Switzerland. He is pictured (above) receiving his prize from Philip Britz-McKibbin of McMaster University (Conference Chair) and Karen Waldron of Université de Montréal (Conference Co-organizer). Congratulations Nicolas!
More information on the symposium can be found here.