Microfluidic Graft-versus-Host Disease Tissue Model
Karolina Konior1, Wenting Zhang1, Yexin Gu1, Yi Hao1, Zhehuan Chen1, Jenny Zilberbeg2, Woo Y. Lee1
1Depertment of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1 Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030
2Research Department, Hackensack University Medical Center, 40 Prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ, 07601
It is challenging to determine prior to allogenic blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) whether a patient will develop effects of transplant rejection. After allogenic BMT, nearly 50% of patients currently experience acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), characterized by damage to gastrointestinal (GI) tract, skin, and liver tissues elicited by donor T cells. A microfluidic GVHD tissue model is proposed as a means of replicating ex vivo GVHD using patient intestinal epithelial cells and donor T cells for diagnostic screening of potential patient-donor mismatch. As initial steps toward this long goal, we used a microfluidic device to: (1) culture and maintain primary murine intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and (2) assess the device's capability in supporting the circulation and interaction of primary murine T cells with the IECs. For the IEC culture, polycaprolactone nanofiber mesh was used to maintain the long-term viability of IECs since primary IECs cannot be kept viable during conventional culture. With the use of nanofiber mesh, IECs were able to develop into a confluent layer and exhibit cobblestone morphology while remaining viable in the culture device. After IECs became confluent, murine primary T cells were introduced and circulated through the culture device. T cells were activated by IECs, resulting in the increased viability of T cells. These results suggest that the device can be used to: (1) support long-term culture of primary murine IECs through the enabling use of PCL/collagen nanofiber mesh and (2) circulate and maintain viable T cells without entrapment. With this initial basis, we plan to further optimize the use of the device in replicating the ex vivo alloreaction of T cells initially using established murine models and later using biospecimens obtained from patient-donor pairs.
See more of this Group/Topical: Student Poster Sessions