Intestine liver interaction on a chip co-culturing human iPSCs and hepatocytes

A beautiful paper from Kimura and Sakai labs at the University of Tokyo: co-culturing human iPSC intestine cells with human liver hepatocytes freshly derived from a PXB mouse. Authors studied the interaction of their intestine and liver models in an interconnected organ on a chip system in terms of intestinal or liver morphology, function and metabolic activity.

They found that “the cytochrome activity, albumin production, and liver‑specific gene expressions in human hepatocytes freshly isolated from a PXB mouse were significantly upregulated via coculture with hiPS intestinal cells”.

Furthermore, they used a combination of a pressure pump and valving to create a uni-directional flow between the gut and liver compartments. The intestinal cells were cultured in a Transwell system and then inserted in the organ on a chip system while the hepatocytes were cultured directly in the chip.

Strong points:
+ One directional pneumatic medium recirculation
+ Comprehensive comparison of the mono- vs. co-culture
+ Investigation of non-specific binding of drugs on PDMS

Nothing is perfect! The system can also improve:
– They still used PDMS because of ease of use.
– Lack of environmental factor, e.g. shear stress on intestinal cells.

Contact us if you want to know more about this system or similar technologies.

Link to the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-84861-y

This paper is reproduced under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/