Researchers at the Wyss Institute developed a model of the human intestine containing microchannels populated by different human cells to form tissues, which can be used to study the gut microbiome, the immune system, and chronic conditions like cancer.
The Intestine Chip offers an innovative approach to making research more human-relevant and has the capability to model an individual’s gut, which will lead to advances in precision medicine. The chip’s microchannels can be populated with human cells from multiple donors, offering a human-relevant platform for disease modeling and drug development. The ability for the chip to model an individual’s gut presents new ways to advance precision medicine, which focuses on identifying treatments and preventions that are more effective for individuals based on their genetics and environmental and lifestyle factors. Precision medicine is revising the “one-size-fits-all” approach to health care.
The Intestine Chip may be useful as a research tool for many applications, including studies of metabolism, disease modeling and progression, drug absorption, and more. Until now, in vitro models had limited ability to study enteropathies. The Intestine Chip offers the ability to replicate conditions such as colorectal cancer, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease. The Intestine Chip model also has the capability to study new therapeutic targets, test new treatments, and repurpose existing pharmaceuticals.
Bein A, Shin W, Jalili-Firoozinezhad S, et al. Microfluidic organ-on-a-chip models of human intestine. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2018;5:659-668. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmgh.2017.12.010