We have developed a multi-channel 3D microfluidic cell culture system (multi-channel 3D-µFCCS) with compartmentalized microenvironments for potential application in human drug screening. To this end, the multi-channel 3D-µFCCS was designed for culturing different 3D cellular aggregates simultaneously to mimic multiple organs in the body. Four human cell types (C3A, A549, HK-2 and HPA) were chosen to represent the liver, lung, kidney and the adipose tissue, respectively. Cellular functions were optimized by supplementing the common medium with growth factors. However, TGF-β1 was found to enhance A549 functions but inhibit C3A functions. Therefore, TGF-β1 was specifically controlled-released inside the A549 compartment by means of gelatin microspheres mixed with cells, thus creating a cell-specific microenvironment. The function of A549 cells was enhanced while the functions of C3A, HK-2 and HPA cells were uncompromised, demonstrating the limited cross-talk between cell culture compartments similar to the in vivo situation. Such a multi-channel 3D-µFCCS could be potentially used to supplement or even replace animal models in drug screening.
You have access to this article
Please wait while we load your content...
Something went wrong. Try again?