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Clément Quintard

Integrated microfluidic system dedicated to cellular secretion immunomonitoring of organ-on-chip

Published on 22 March 2022
Thesis presented March 22, 2022

The development of vascular networks on-chip is crucial for the long-term culture of three-dimensional cell aggregates such as organoids, spheroids, tumoroids, and tissue explants. Despite the rapid advancement of microvascular network systems and organoid technology, vascularizing organoids-on-chips remains a challenge in tissue engineering. Moreover, most existing microfluidic devices poorly reflect the biological complexity of organs and flows in vivo. Considering these constraints, we developed an innovative platform to establish and monitor the formation of endothelial networks around model spheroids of mesenchymal and endothelial cells as well as blood vessel organoids generated from pluripotent stem cells, cultured for up to 15 days on-chip. Importantly, these networks were functional, demonstrating intravascular perfusion within the spheroids or vascular organoids connected to neighbouring endothelial beds. This microphysiological system thus represents a viable organ-on-chip model to vascularize biological tissues and should allow to establish perfusion into organoids using advanced microfluidics.
Moreover, advances in microphysiological systems have prompted the need for robust and reliable cell culture devices. While microfluidic technology has made significant progress, devices often lack user-friendliness and are not designed to be industrialized on a large scale. Pancreatic islets are often being studied using microfluidic platforms in which the monitoring of fluxes is generally very limited, especially because the integration of valves to direct the flow is difficult to achieve. Here, we present a thermoplastic manufactured microfluidic chip with an automated control of fluxes for the stimulation and secretion collection of pancreatic islet. This device we developed enables monitoring of insulin secretion from a single islet and can be adapted for the study of a wide variety of biological tissues and secretomes.

microfluidics, organ-on-chip, organoids, vascularization