Roos Masereeuw (Dept Farmacy) and Bart Gadella (Fac Vet Med) took the initiative to arrange a kick-off meeting for a consortium within the UU community to combine expertise on microfluidic device fabrication and developments in (combined) organ(s) on a chip. The FVM dean, Wouter Dhert (who represents the joint life sciences faculties) gave a highly motivated talk to get this initiative started to: 1) get better disease models to test treatments, 2) reduce animal use for drug testing, 3) better model the complexity of (human) disease. In different animal models, Bart Gadella explained that correct in vivo fertilization in a fabricated mold that was coated with differentiated oviduct epithelia resemble replanted fertilized embryos efficiencies better (i.e. less polyspermia and better early embryonal development) than standard IVF. Roos Masereeuw explained her work on renal proximal tubuli endothelia in different biofabricated support systems to each measure aspects of the renal transport processes. She stressed that existing animal model systems have relatively poor predictable value for renal toxicity as is clear from experimental drugs that are rejected in the later phases of clinical trials. OOC systems have a great promise to outperform animal testing models. Pedro Costa explained the capabilities of the biofabrication facility at the RMCU to design (in a user friendly interface) and manufacture biological culture models in complex structural design and in different biological sample mixtures.
In the discussion, Roos noted the Brain-on-a-Chip meeting that is planned in next week (link). A regular meetup of the UU initiative will be planned and a questionnaire to monitor interests in the UU community is going to be circulated. Collaboration with a national intiative (hdmt) will be investigated .