Publications

Organ-on-chips made of blood: endothelial progenitor cells from blood reconstitute vascular thromboinflammation in vessel-chips

"Therapeutic approaches to treat vascular dysfunction and thrombosis at disease- and patientspecific levels is an exciting proposed direction in biomedical research. However, this cannot be achieved with animal preclinical models alone and new in vitro techniques, like human organ-onchips, currently lack inclusion of easily obtainable and phenotypically-similar human cell sources. Therefore, there is an unmet need to identify sources of patient primary cells and apply them in organ-on-chips to increase personalized mechanistic understanding of diseases and to assess drugs. In this study, we provide a proof-of-feasibility of utilizing Blood Outgrowth Endothelial Cells (BOECs) as a disease-specific primary cell source to analyze vascular inflammation and thrombosis in vascular organ-chips or “vessel- chips”. These blood-derived BOECs express several factors that confirm their endothelial identity. The vessel-chips are cultured with BOECs from healthy or diabetic patients and form an intact 3D endothelial lumen. Inflammation of BOEC endothelium with exogenous cytokines reveals vascular dysfunction and thrombosis in vitro similar to in vivo observations. Interestingly, our study with vessel-chips also reveal that unstimulated BOECs of type 1 diabetic pigs show phenotypic behavior of the disease – high vascular dysfunction and thrombogenecity – when compared to control BOECs or normal primary endothelial cells. These results demonstrate the potential of organ-on-chips made from autologous endothelial cells obtained from blood in modeling vascular pathologies and therapeutic outcomes at a disease and patient-specific level."
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