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Trends in Biotechnology
This journal offers authors two options (open access or subscription) to publish research

Aug 01, 2021

Volume 39Issue 8p745-852, e1-e2
Special Issue: Microphysiological Systems
Recent advances in 3D in vitro models have created a multitude of novel possibilities to study inter-organ communications and complex pathophysiologies. The cover image illustrates the gut microbiota and kidney, whose bidirectional crosstalk is involved in the development and progression of diseases such as chronic kidney disease. In pages 811–823 of this issue, Giordano and colleagues discuss how the efficacy of microphysiological systems in mimicking the mechanisms operating in vivo and enabling organ interconnections, combined with their ability to control for individual experimental parameters, are making these systems a valuable breakthrough for biomedical applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Background image: human colon organoid on a hollow fi ber membrane chip system (DAPI, blue; ZO-1, green). Cover image created by Laura Giordano and Silvia Mihaila....
Recent advances in 3D in vitro models have created a multitude of novel possibilities to study inter-organ communications and complex pathophysiologies. The cover image illustrates the gut microbiota and kidney, whose bidirectional crosstalk is involved in the development and progression of diseases such as chronic kidney disease. In pages 811–823 of this issue, Giordano and colleagues discuss how the efficacy of microphysiological systems in mimicking the mechanisms operating in vivo and enabling organ interconnections, combined with their ability to control for individual experimental parameters, are making these systems a valuable breakthrough for biomedical applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Background image: human colon organoid on a hollow fi ber membrane chip system (DAPI, blue; ZO-1, green). Cover image created by Laura Giordano and Silvia Mihaila.

Forum

Spotlight

  • Seeding A Growing Organ

    • Alexander Sotra,
    • Boyang Zhang
    Bioprinting offers unprecedented control in the 3D deposition of cells and biomaterials, but reproducing tissue microarchitecture and cell diversity remains challenging. Brassard et al. now overcome these limitations by bioprinting organoid-forming stem cells at high densities. This study opens new possibilities for controlling tissue structural complexities across multiple length scales.

Reviews

  • Extracellular Vesicles in Cardiac Regeneration: Potential Applications for Tissues-on-a-Chip

    • Karl T. Wagner,
    • Trevor R. Nash,
    • Bohao Liu,
    • Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic,
    • Milica Radisic
    Strategies to regenerate cardiac tissue postinjury are limited and heart transplantation remains the only ‘cure’ for a failing heart. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), membrane-bound cell secretions important in intercellular signaling, have been shown to play a crucial role in regulating heart function. A mechanistic understanding of the role of EVs in the heart remains elusive due to the challenges in studying the native human heart. Tissue-on-a-chip platforms, comprising functional, physiologically relevant human tissue models, are an emerging technology that has yet to be fully applied to the study of EVs.
  • Deciphering Organoids: High-Dimensional Analysis of Biomimetic Cultures

    • Xiao Qin,
    • Christopher J. Tape
    Organoids are self-organising stem cell-derived ex vivo cultures widely adopted as biomimetic models of healthy and diseased tissues. Traditional low-dimensional experimental methods such as microscopy and bulk molecular analysis have generated remarkable biological insights from organoids. However, as complex heterocellular systems, organoids are especially well-positioned to take advantage of emerging high-dimensional technologies. In particular, single-cell methods offer considerable opportunities to analyse organoids at unprecedented scale and depth, enabling comprehensive characterisation of cellular processes and spatial organisation underpinning organoid heterogeneity.
  • Multiorgan-on-a-Chip: A Systemic Approach To Model and Decipher Inter-Organ Communication

    • Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan,
    • Agnieszka Zuchowska,
    • Iris Lemeunier,
    • Séverine Le Gac
    Open Access
    Multiorgan-on-a-chip (multi-OoC) platforms have great potential to redefine the way in which human health research is conducted. After briefly reviewing the need for comprehensive multiorgan models with a systemic dimension, we highlight scenarios in which multiorgan models are advantageous. We next overview existing multi-OoC platforms, including integrated body-on-a-chip devices and modular approaches involving interconnected organ-specific modules. We highlight how multi-OoC models can provide unique information that is not accessible using single-OoC models.
  • Microphysiological Systems to Recapitulate the Gut–Kidney Axis

    • Laura Giordano,
    • Silvia Maria Mihaila,
    • Hossein Eslami Amirabadi,
    • Rosalinde Masereeuw
    Open Access
    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically appears alongside other comorbidities, highlighting an underlying complex pathophysiology that is thought to be vastly modulated by the bidirectional gut–kidney crosstalk. By combining advances in tissue engineering, biofabrication, microfluidics, and biosensors, microphysiological systems (MPSs) have emerged as promising approaches for emulating the in vitro interconnection of multiple organs, while addressing the limitations of animal models. Mimicking the (patho)physiological states of the gut–kidney axis in vitro requires an MPS that can simulate not only this direct bidirectional crosstalk but also the contributions of other physiological participants such as the liver and the immune system.
  • Building Organs Using Tissue-Specific Microenvironments: Perspectives from a Bioprosthetic Ovary

    • Nathaniel F.C. Henning,
    • Adam E. Jakus,
    • Monica M. Laronda
    Recent research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has elucidated the importance of the matrisome. The matrisome, effectively the skeleton of an organ, provides physical and biochemical cues that drive important processes such as differentiation, proliferation, migration, and cellular morphology. Leveraging the matrisome to control these and other tissue-specific processes will be key to developing transplantable bioprosthetics. In the ovary, the physical and biological properties of the matrisome have been implicated in controlling the important processes of follicle quiescence and folliculogenesis.
  • Modeling the Human Body on Microfluidic Chips

    • Sasan Jalili-Firoozinezhad,
    • Cláudia C. Miranda,
    • Joaquim M.S. Cabral
    Animals often fail to faithfully mimic human diseases and drug toxicities, and most in vitro models are not complex enough to recapitulate human body function and pathophysiology. Organ-on-chip culture technology, however, offers a promising tool for the study of tissue development and homeostasis, which has brought us one step closer to performing human experimentation in vitro. To recapitulate the complex functionality of multiple organs at once, their respective on-chip models can be linked to create a functional human body-on-chip platform.
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