MIMETAS, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Roche (Basel), has developed a novel organ-on-a-chip system that supports evaluation of intestinal permeability in perfused 3D gut tubules in high throughput under exposure to pharmacological compounds.

The results of this research were published this week in the leading scientific journal Nature Communications.

In this publication, MIMETAS and Roche scientists report growing more than 350 gut tubules under flow that formed leak-tight structures and could be interrogated for intestinal barrier function in real-time using automated microscopy and image analysis.

The intestinal tubules were polarised and leak-tight after only 4 days in culture and showed increased expression of specific transporters and receptors.

This gut model lends itself to assess toxicology and transport of oncological and other compounds, as well as disease modelling studies and fundamental research on the intestinal barrier.

Paul Vulto, Managing Director of MIMETAS and senior author on the paper, comments: “This article in a major journal shows the world what the OrganoPlate platform is capable of. With 350 gut tubes and more than 20,000 data points measured, this is the largest organ-on-a-chip dataset ever published.”

“It demonstrates that 3D cell culture under perfusion flow isn’t necessarily complex to do. In fact, every cell biologist is now able to work with OrganoPlates and reproduce our results.”

According to Vulto, the Nature Communications paper shows only the tip of the iceberg: “Scientists at MIMETAS and elsewhere around the world are developing stunning 3D cell culture models in the OrganoPlate platform every day.”

“The fact that one can culture tubules, blood vessels and tissue cocultures in 3D, without artificial membranes and with an unprecedented imaging quality, enables researchers to study human tissue biology in a completely novel way. We are proud to support these fantastic scientists in their search for ever more physiologically relevant tissue models. We are now making this technology available to every scientist in the world.”