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Issue 7, 2020
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Low-cost microphysiological systems: feasibility study of a tape-based barrier-on-chip for small intestine modeling

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Abstract

We see affordability as a key challenge in making organs-on-chips accessible to a wider range of users, particularly outside the highest-resource environments. Here, we present an approach to barrier-on-a-chip fabrication based on double-sided pressure-sensitive adhesive tape and off-the-shelf polycarbonate. Besides a low materials cost, common also to PDMS or thermoplastics, it requires minimal (€100) investment in laboratory equipment, yet at the same time is suitable for upscaling to industrial roll-to-roll manufacture. We evaluate our microphysiological system with an epithelial (Caco-2/BBe1) barrier model of the small intestine, studying the biological effects of permeable support pore size, as well as stimulation with a common food compound (chili pepper-derived capsaicinoids). The cells form tight and continuous barrier layers inside our systems, with comparable permeability but superior epithelial polarization compared to Transwell culture, in line with other perfused microphysiological models. Permeable support pore size is shown to weakly impact barrier layer integrity as well as the metabolic cell profile. Capsaicinoid response proves distinct between culture systems, but we show that impacted metabolic pathways are partly conserved, and that cytoskeletal changes align with previous studies. Overall, our tape-based microphysiological system proves to be a robust and reproducible approach to studying physiological barriers, in spite of its low cost.

Graphical abstract: Low-cost microphysiological systems: feasibility study of a tape-based barrier-on-chip for small intestine modeling

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
05 Jan 2020
Accepted
01 Mar 2020
First published
02 Mar 2020

This article is Open Access

Lab Chip, 2020,20, 1212-1226
Article type
Paper

Low-cost microphysiological systems: feasibility study of a tape-based barrier-on-chip for small intestine modeling

T. E. Winkler, M. Feil, E. F. G. J. Stronkman, I. Matthiesen and A. Herland, Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 1212
DOI: 10.1039/D0LC00009D

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