In-vitro epithelial barrier models that are more representative of in-vivo tissues are urgently needed. Here we present extracellular matrix-supported intestinal tubules in a perfused microfluidic platform. These intestinal tubules exhibiting tissue (polarization) markers ErbB1, ErBb2, Ezrin, Glut-2, MRP2 and ZO-1, and crypt-like morphology. Drug-induced toxicity was assessed by apical exposure of the intestinal barriers to model compounds. This microfluidic platform is readily implemented in routine laboratories and allows for recording of response to pharmacological stimuli in real-time using automated imaging techniques. The co-culture capabilities of the platform can be explored to create complex tissue configurations, for example by incorporating mesenchymal and immune cells in the ECM adjacent to the epithelial tubes. In conclusion, intestinal tubules cultured in the OrganoPlate® are suitable for high-throughput toxicity screening, trans-epithelial transport studies, and complex co-culture models to recreate an in vivo-like microenvironment.
1. Identify challenges in standard in-vitro models
2. Be able describe the method of seeding, growing and investigating intestinal tubular structures on the OrganoPlate® format
3. Be able to translate this knowledge in generating high-throughput studies for drug development and discovery