In vitro nasal mucosa gland-like structure formation on a chip
The emergence of microfluidic epithelial models using diverse types of cells within a physiologically relevant microenvironment has the potential to be a powerful tool for preclinical drug screening and pathophysiological studies. However, to date, few studies have reported the development of a complicated in vitro human nasal epithelial model. The aim of this study was to produce an in vitro human nasal mucosa model for reliable drug screening and clinical applications. Here, we integrated and optimized several culture conditions such as cell type, airway culture conditions, and hydrogel scaffolds into a microfluidic chip to construct an advanced in vitro human nasal mucosa model. We observed that the inducing factors for nasal gland-like structures were secreted from activated human dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Furthermore, our in vitro nasal mucosa presented different appearance and characteristics under hypoxic conditions. Morphological and functional similarities between in vivo nasal mucosa and our model indicated its utilization as a reliable research model for nasal diseases including allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, and nasal polyposis.