Second-generation lung-on-a-chip array with a stretchable biological membrane

Pauline Zamprogno, Simon Wüthrich, Sven Achenbach, Janick D. Stucki, Nina Hobi, Nicole Schneider-Daum, Claus-Michael Lehr, Hanno Huwer, Thomas Geiser, Ralph A. Schmid, Olivier T. Guenat

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Received 22nd March 19

The complex architecture of the lung parenchyma and the air-blood barrier is difficult to mimic in-vitro. Recently reported lung-on-a-chips used a thin, porous and stretchable PDMS membrane, to mimic the air-blood barrier and the rhythmic breathing motions. However, the nature, the properties and the size of this PDMS membrane differ from the extracellular matrix of the distal airways. Here, we present a second-generation lung-on-a-chip with an array of in vivo-like sized alveoli and a stretchable biological membrane. This nearly absorption free membrane allows mimicking in vivo functionality of the lung parenchyma at an unprecedented level. The air-blood barrier is constituted by human primary lung alveolar epithelial cells from several patients and co-cultured with primary lung endothelial cells. Typical markers of lung alveolar epithelial cells could be observed in the model, while barrier properties were preserved for up to three weeks. This advanced lung alveolar model reproduces some key features of the lung alveolar environment in terms of composition, alveolar size, mechanical forces and biological functions, which makes this model a more analogous tool for drug discovery, diseases modeling and precision medicine applications.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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