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Title: High-throughput organ-on-chip platform with integrated programmable fluid flow and real-time sensing for complex tissue models in drug development workflows
Drug development suffers from a lack of predictive and human-relevant in vitro models. Organ-on-chip (OOC) technology provides advanced culture capabilities to generate physiologically appropriate, human-based tissue in vitro , therefore providing a route to a predictive in vitro model. However, OOC technologies are often created at the expense of throughput, industry-standard form factors, and compatibility with state-of-the-art data collection tools. Here we present an OOC platform with advanced culture capabilities supporting a variety of human tissue models including liver, vascular, gastrointestinal, and kidney. The platform has 96 devices per industry standard plate and compatibility with contemporary high-throughput data collection tools. Specifically, we demonstrate programmable flow control over two physiologically relevant flow regimes: perfusion flow that enhances hepatic tissue function and high-shear stress flow that aligns endothelial monolayers. In addition, we integrate electrical sensors, demonstrating quantification of barrier function of primary gut colon tissue in real-time. We utilize optical access to the tissues to directly quantify renal active transport and oxygen consumption via integrated oxygen sensors. Finally, we leverage the compatibility and throughput of the platform to screen all 96 devices using high content screening (HCS) and evaluate gene expression using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). By combining these capabilities in one platform, more » physiologically-relevant tissues can be generated and measured, accelerating optimization of an in vitro model, and ultimately increasing predictive accuracy of in vitro drug screening. « less
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Award ID(s):
1804787 1804845
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Lab on a Chip
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1454 to 1474
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Measurement of cell metabolism in moderate-throughput to high-throughput organ-on-chip (OOC) systems would expand the range of data collected for studying drug effects or disease in physiologically relevant tissue models. However, current measurement approaches rely on fluorescent imaging or colorimetric assays that are focused on endpoints, require labels or added substrates, and lack real-time data. Here, we integrated optical-based oxygen sensors in a high-throughput OOC platform and developed an approach for monitoring cell metabolic activity in an array of membrane bilayer devices. Each membrane bilayer device supported a culture of human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells on a porous membrane suspended between two microchannels and exposed to controlled, unidirectional perfusion and physiologically relevant shear stress for several days. For the first time, we measured changes in oxygen in a membrane bilayer format and used a finite element analysis model to estimate cell oxygen consumption rates (OCRs), allowing comparison with OCRs from other cell culture systems. Finally, we demonstrated label-free detection of metabolic shifts in human renal proximal tubule cells following exposure to FCCP, a drug known for increasing cell oxygen consumption, as well as oligomycin and antimycin A, drugs known for decreasing cell oxygen consumption. The capability to measure cellmore »OCRs and detect metabolic shifts in an array of membrane bilayer devices contained within an industry standard microtiter plate format will be valuable for analyzing flow-responsive and physiologically complex tissues during drug development and disease research.

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  2. Abstract There is a need for new in vitro systems that enable pharmaceutical companies to collect more physiologically-relevant information on drug response in a low-cost and high-throughput manner. For this purpose, three-dimensional (3D) spheroidal models have been established as more effective than two-dimensional models. Current commercial techniques, however, rely heavily on self-aggregation of dissociated cells and are unable to replicate key features of the native tumor microenvironment, particularly due to a lack of control over extracellular matrix components and heterogeneity in shape, size, and aggregate forming tendencies. In this study, we overcome these challenges by coupling tissue engineering toolsets with microfluidics technologies to create engineered cancer microspheres. Specifically, we employ biosynthetic hydrogels composed of conjugated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and fibrinogen protein (PEG-Fb) to create engineered breast and colorectal cancer tissue microspheres for 3D culture, tumorigenic characterization, and examination of potential for high-throughput screening (HTS). MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines were used to create breast cancer microspheres and the HT29 cell line and cells from a stage II patient-derived xenograft (PDX) were encapsulated to produce colorectal cancer (CRC) microspheres. Using our previously developed microfluidic system, highly uniform cancer microspheres (intra-batch coefficient of variation (CV) ≤ 5%, inter-batch CV < 2%) withmore »high cell densities (>20×106 cells/ml) were produced rapidly, which is critical for use in drug testing. Encapsulated cells maintained high viability and displayed cell type-specific differences in morphology, proliferation, metabolic activity, ultrastructure, and overall microsphere size distribution and bulk stiffness. For PDX CRC microspheres, the percentage of human (70%) and CRC (30%) cells was maintained over time and similar to the original PDX tumor, and the mechanical stiffness also exhibited a similar order of magnitude (103 Pa) to the original tumor. The cancer microsphere system was shown to be compatible with an automated liquid handling system for administration of drug compounds; MDA-MB-231 microspheres were distributed in 384 well plates and treated with staurosporine (1 μM) and doxorubicin (10 μM). Expected responses were quantified using CellTiter-Glo® 3D, demonstrating initial applicability to HTS drug discovery. PDX CRC microspheres were treated with Fluorouracil (5FU) (10 to 500 μM) and displayed a decreasing trend in metabolic activity with increasing drug concentration. Providing a more physiologically relevant tumor microenvironment in a high-throughput and low-cost manner, the PF hydrogel-based cancer microspheres could potentially improve the translational success of drug candidates by providing more accurate in vitro prediction of in vivo drug efficacy. Citation Format: Elizabeth A. Lipke, Wen J. Seeto, Yuan Tian, Mohammadjafar Hashemi, Iman Hassani, Benjamin Anbiah, Nicole L. Habbit, Michael W. Greene, Dmitriy Minond, Shantanu Pradhan. Production of cancer tissue-engineered microspheres for high-throughput screening [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2022; 2022 Apr 8-13. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2022;82(12_Suppl):Abstract nr 175.« less
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  4. 2938 Using a Human Liver Tissue Equivalent (hLTE) Platform to Define the Functional Impact of Liver-Directed AAV Gene Therapy 63rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition, December 11-14, 2021, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts Session: 801. Gene Therapies: Poster II Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways: Bleeding and Clotting, Biological, Translational Research, Hemophilia, Genetic Disorders, Clinically Relevant, Diseases, Gene Therapy, Therapies Sunday, December 12, 2021, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM Ritu M Ramamurthy1*, Wen Ting Zheng2*, Sunil George, PhD1*, Meimei Wan1*, Yu Zhou, PhD1*, Baisong Lu, PhD1*, Colin E Bishop, PhD1*, Anthony Atala, M.D.1*, Christopher D Porada, PhD1* and M. Graca Almeida-Porada, MD3 1Fetal Research and Therapy Program, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 3Fetal Research and Therapy Program, Wake Forest Institute For Regenerative Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC Clinical trials employing AAV vectors for hemophilia A have been hindered by unanticipated immunological and/or inflammatory responses in some of the patients. Also, these trials have often yielded lower levels of transgene expression than were expected based upon preclinical studies, highlighting the poor correlation between the transduction efficiency observed in traditional 2D cultures of primary cells in vitro, and that observed inmore »those same cell types in vivo. 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