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A 3D human lung-on-a-chip model for nanotoxicity testing


The prevalent application of nanoparticles (NPs) has drawn intense concerns about their impact on environment and human health. Inhalation of NPs is the major route of NP exposure and has led to adverse effects on the lung. It is of great concern to evaluate the potential hazards of nanoparticles for human health during pulmonary exposure. Here, we proposed a novel 3D human lung-on-a-chip model to recreate the organ-level structure and functions of human lung that allow to evaluate the pulmonary toxicity of nanoparticles. The lung-on-a-chip consist of three parallel channels for co-culture of human vascular endothelial cells and human alveolar epithelial cells sandwiching a layer of Matrigel membrane, which recapitulate the key features of alveolar capillary barrier in human lung. Cell-cell interaction, cell-matrix interaction and vascular mechanical cues work synergistically to promote the barrier function of the lung-on-a-chip model. TiO2 nanoparticles and ZnO nanoparticles were applied on the lung-on-a-chip to assay their nanotoxicity on both epithelial cells and endothelial cells. Tight junction protein expression, increased permeability to macromolecules, dose dependent cytotoxicity, ROS production and apoptosis were assayed and compared on the chip. This lung-on-a-chip model indicated its versatile application in human pulmonary health and safety assessment for nanoparticles, environment, food and drugs.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jun 2018, accepted on 10 Aug 2018 and first published on 11 Aug 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TX00156A
Citation: Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    A 3D human lung-on-a-chip model for nanotoxicity testing

    M. Zhang, C. Xu, L. Jiang and J. Qin, Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TX00156A

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