Engineering 3D microenvironments of vascularized bone and muscle
January 1, 2018 – The objective of the 'Biomat' project is to develop a platform for high-throughput testing of biomaterials in a physiologically relevant environment on-a-chip. The innovative aspects of this platform are a 3D environment that mimics relevant tissues in which novel and existing biomaterials can be integrated for reliable in vitro testing and monitoring.
Bones- and Muscles-on-a-Chip
Within this project, 3D microenvironments of vascularized bone and muscle will be engineered on microfluidic chips and used to test the performance of biomaterials, such as hip implants, bone fillers, and stents. MIMETAS' OrganoPlate® technology offers unique functionalities, not possible with conventional 2D or 3D culture, allowing to better replicate the complex microenvironment of bones and muscles. In addition, MIMETAS' perfused vascular beds, that recapitulate hallmark features of human microvessels, will play an important role in the project.
Within the first two years of the Biomat-on-Microfluidic Chip project, important steps towards creating a new generation of patient-specific organ-on-chip platforms were taken by developing several engineering and biological technologies.
- First designs and models of the chip have been made in the form of inserts for culture plates. We have succeeded in forming three-dimensional biological micro-constructs of patient-specific cells and various biomaterials at a micron scale. In addition to that, we have developed multiple robust bioassays for screening the toxicity/biocompatibility and the functionality of newly developed biomaterials;
- Although this 3D model has been tested with human cell lines and stem cells, we have also optimized protocols for differentiating human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) towards muscle and bone tissues and for coupling these cells with reporters with which their growth and metabolism can be monitored non-invasively. Furthermore, we have shown the formation of 3D micro-tissues using these cells;
- The development of the platform for vascularization of 3D micro-tissues has also been demonstrated;
- In addition to that, we have developed a sensor that can be coupled to the chip in order to monitor tissue formation overtime;
- We have developed a technology for the fabrication of micro-biomaterials with different chemistries that can be screened in the platform for biocompatibility and biological functionality.
Partners and Funding
Other partners in the project are: Universiteit Maastricht - MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (NL), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (BE), Xplore Instruments B.V. (NL), Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (NL), Tenco DDM (BE), DSM R&D Solutions B.V. (NL) and Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum - IMEC (BE).
The project was awarded an Interreg Flanders-The Netherlands grant, support from the Dutch Department of Economic Affairs and the Province of Zuid-Holland on a total project budget of €4.5mn.