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Netherlands-based biotechnology firm MIMETAS has partnered with Roche to develop a new organ-on-a-chip system to support intestinal permeability assessment.

The new system is designed to enable evaluation in perfused three-dimensional (3D) gut tubules in high throughput under exposure to pharmacological compounds.

As part of their research, the firms are reported to have grown more than 350 gut tubules under flow to form leak-tight structures.

The structures were designed in a way to allow real-time investigation of intestinal barrier function using automated microscopy and image analysis.

Following four days in culture, the tubules were found to be polarised and leak-tight with an improved expression of specific transporters and receptors.

The results of the research were published in a scientific journal, Nature Communications.

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By GlobalData
"With 350 gut tubes and over 20,000 data points measured, this is the largest organ-on-a-chip data set ever published."

MIMETAS managing director Paul Vulto said: “This article in a major journal shows the world what the OrganoPlate platform is capable of.

“With 350 gut tubes and over 20,000 data points measured, this is the largest organ-on-a-chip data set ever published.

“It demonstrates that 3D cell culture under perfusion flow isn’t necessarily complex to do. In fact, every cell biologist is now able to work with OrganoPlates and reproduce our results.”

Vulto also added that the ability to culture tubules, blood vessels and tissue co-cultures in 3D without artificial membranes and with high imaging quality will enable the enhanced study of human tissue biology.

The new gut models can be used for evaluation of toxicology and transport of oncological and other compounds, disease modelling studies and basic intestinal barrier research.