"Organ-on-a-chip” technologies allow recapitulation of organ systems in vitro and can be utilized for drug response and toxicity studies, which are required in preclinical studies. However, current recapitulations via “organ-on-a-chip” technologies are limited because the designs do not fully reflect physiological complexity. To address this, UC Irvine inventors have developed a device to better mimic the vascular network of the circulatory system.
“Organ-on-a-chip” systems can mimic the characteristics and functions of organs in vitro and thus are useful medical research tools. Using such systems, researchers have been looking for ways to better study the vascular network of the circulatory system. However, current capillary networks recapitulated by “organ-on-a-chip” systems utilize a single layer configuration, limiting the layout, positioning, and complexity of these networks.
Inventors at UC Irvine have devised a flexible and scalable strategy for improving the physiological recapitulation of capillary systems. The strategy enables the vessels formed in tissue culturing chambers to be more densely packed, resulting in the formation of large-scale perfused capillary networks.
This enhancement is important because with the integration of a large-scale functional microvasculature network, researchers can: (1) better study physiological relevant phenomenon such as angiogenesis (sprouting of new vessels), anastomosis (connecting between/among vessels), and perfusion, and (2) perform drug studies on physiologically similar “organ systems”.
o Toxicity studies
o Drug response studies
· More physiologically accurate than current organ-on-a-chip technologies
· Technology can be assembled with low cost materials
· Device is highly configurable as user can design each layer’s specifications independently from another layer
· Platform is compact, enabling both scalability and mobility
Prototype has been developed and demonstrated to form large-scale capillary networks.