Second-generation lung-on-a-chip array with a stretchable biological membrane

We present a second-generation lung-on-a-chip with an array of in vivo-like sized alveoli and a stretchable biological membrane



Scholarcy highlights

  • Alveolar environment in terms of composition, alveolar size, mechanical forces and biological functions, which makes this model a more analogous tool for drug discovery, diseases modeling and precision medicine applications
  • First-generation lung-on-a-chip devices imitate the rhythmic mechanical strain of the alveolar barrier induced by breathing motions
  • These systems allow investigation of the mechanobiology of the air-blood barrier for the first time, they are limited by the nature of the PDMS membrane they are made of
  • The extracellular matrix of the lung alveolar region has structural and mechanical cell substrate functions but beyond that the ECM is pivotal in determining normal cellular function and differentiation in health and dysregulation in disease
  • Another limitation of PDMS membranes is the absorption and adsorption of small molecules and the effect on the ECM as local reservoir of growth factors and bioactive molecules, which are not maintained by the microenvironment at physiological concentrations, and distort effects in the system
  • First-generation lung-on-a-chip devices imperfectly reproduce the geometric dimensions of the native lung alveoli, as the surface of the culturing membrane creates a unique alveolus of non-physiological dimensions, rather than an array of alveoli of in vivo-like anatomy
  • The hexagonal gold mesh with a suspended CE-membrane provides cells with small alcoves containing an environment similar to that found in an alveolus as measured by a number of different parameters

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