The state of the art for tissues-on-chips using skin cells had been lacking for a long time due to the absence of both an epithelial and a stromal component despite the biological importance of the stroma for the structure and function of human tissues.
The authors of this paper have presented a new inexpensive, easy-to-implement, versatile, and robust vinyl-based device that overcomes some of the drawbacks present in PDMS-based chips by using parallel flow and to mimic the function of a blood vessel as it is really important for a 3D model of tissues-on-chips using skin cells.
The authors state that “Microfluidic-based tissues-on-chips (TOCs) have thus far been restricted to modeling simple epithelia as a single cell layer, but likely due to technical difficulties, no TOCs have been reported to include both an epithelial and a stromal component despite the biological importance of the stroma for the structure and function of human tissues.
We present, for the first time, a novel approach to generate 3D multilayer tissue models in microfluidic platforms. As a proof of concept, we modeled skin, including a dermal and an epidermal compartment.
To accomplish this, we developed a parallel flow method enabling the deposition of bilayer tissue in the upper chamber, which was subsequently maintained under dynamic nutrient flow conditions through the lower chamber, mimicking the function of a blood vessel.
We also designed and built an inexpensive, easy-to-implement, versatile, and robust vinyl-based device that overcomes some of the drawbacks present in PDMS-based chips. Preliminary tests indicate that this biochip will allow the development and maintenance of multilayer tissues, which opens the possibility of better modeling of the complex cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that exist in and between the epithelium and mesenchyme, allowing for better-grounded tissue modeling and drug screening.”
Valencia L, Canalejas-Tejero V, Clemente M, Fernaud I, Holgado M, Jorcano JL, Velasco D. A new microfluidic method enabling the generation of multi-layered tissues-on-chips using skin cells as a proof of concept. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 23;11(1):13160. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-91875-z. PMID: 34162909; PMCID: PMC8222336.