Microphysiological systems (MPS), also known as organ-on-chips, are small scale in vitro cell cultures which mimic facets of tissue or organ level function. MPS frequently utilise primary human cells, often cultured in 3D, to obtain highly functional, physiologically relevant models. MPS can be utilized alone, but can also be connected through fluidic circuits to create advanced multi-MPS that can model the interactions between organ systems, allowing greater analysis of molecular pathways and disease mechanisms.
Most current in vitro liver models are simple mono-cultures of hepatocytes or use hepatic cell lines and do not have the complexity to analyse the interactions between different tissue types and determine how these interactions drive specific pathologies. We have developed a novel system for the in vitro culture of hepatocytes in a perfused three-dimensional format, with/without a separate co-culture allowing interactions to be studied with a second MPS. The model of the human liver, contains multiple primary cell types, which can be cultured together for several weeks and maintain their phenotype and metabolic activity. The MPS platform provides a tool to study in greater detail the key interactions between the gut, the lungs, the liver and the immune system that drive pathologies including steatohepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma and viral hepatitis.
1. Introduction to the field of microphysiological systems
2. Demonstrate use of MPS for efficacy, tox and ADME applications