The development of new drugs is time-consuming, extremely expensive and often promising drug candidates fail in late stages of the development process due to the lack of suitable tools to either predict toxicological effects or to test drug candidates in physiologically relevant environments prior to clinical tests. We therefore try to develop diagnostic multiorgan microfluidic chips based on patient specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology to explore liver dependent toxic effects of drugs on individual human tissues such as liver or kidney cells. Based initially on standardized microfluidic modules for cell culture, we have developed integrated microfluidic devices which contain different chambers for cell/tissue cultivation. The devices are manufactured using injection molding of thermoplastic polymers such as polystyrene or cyclo-olefin polymer. In the project, suitable surface modification methods of the used materials had to be explored. We have been able to successfully demonstrate the seeding, cultivation and further differentiation of modified iPS, as shown by the use of differentiation markers, thus providing a suitable platform for toxicity testing and potential tissue-tissue interactions.
Holger Becker, Thomas Hansen-Hagge, Andreas Kurtz, Ralf Mrowka, Stefan Wölfl, and Claudia Gärtner, "Microfluidic devices for stem-cell cultivation, differentiation and toxicity testing," Proc. SPIE 10061, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XV, 1006116 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 28 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254026.
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