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Intestinal Epithelium Tubules on a Chip

Leiden, September 15, 2021 – Scientists from MIMETAS introduce a method to culture intestinal epithelium tubules-on-a-chip in the OrganoPlate® 3 lane 40. This book chapter has just been published in Methods in Molecular Biology – Organ-on-a-chip Methods and Protocols.

Over the past 35 years, the methods in molecular biology series by Springer Protocols have been a valuable source for scientists to discover research protocols and methodologies to apply to their research. In this new addition, reproducible step-by-step protocols are provided to culture several different organ-on-a-chip tissues to improve upon the drug discovery process. Scientists from MIMETAS describe a method to culture intestinal epithelium tubes-on-a-chip in the OrganoPlate® 3 lane 40 to aid in the development of drugs for intestinal diseases.

The intestine is a complex barrier organ that regulates the uptake of external compounds and nutrients. Failure of this barrier is seen in many pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancer, and type II diabetes. The current golden standard method to study intestinal biology in health and disease makes use of cell culture inserts such as the Transwell® Permeable Support System. While such a system facilitates the formation of differentiated cellular monolayers, other crucial factors of the physiological microenvironment such as the presence of an extracellular matrix (ECM) and fluid flow are lacking.

In the model described, colon-derived Caco-2 cells are seeded in 40 individual chips against an ECM gel to generate a physiologically relevant, membrane-free intestinal model. Within 4 to 6 days of culturing under perfusion, the Caco-2 cells form leak-tight intestinal tubes with both apical and basolateral access for compound exposure and off-plate tests. Additionally, a series of complementary biochemical analyses are described to aid the first-time users of the platform in executing experiments and ultimately improve the intestinal drug discovery process.

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