Project Code: 15031
Project Title: Microfluidic-Based Human Lung Model
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: University Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering
Description: The goal of this project is to develop a system for converting a liquid-based suspension of biospecies into a bioaerosol that is driven at a controlled flow rate and concentration into a microfluidic device for lung-on-a-chip applications. The concept of lung-on-a-chip involves the co-culture of human endothelial and epithelial cells on either side of a porous membrane separating two microchannels stacked on top of each other. An air-liquid interface can be established by driving airflow through the epithelial microchannel while maintaining media flow through the endothelial microchannel. The result is a device that mimics the function of the respiratory zone bronchioles of the human lung. The lung-on-a-chip device can then be used to test the effects of various external stimuli, such as drugs and toxins, to mimic the response of a human lung. The team developed a method to generate and drive viable bioaerosols through lung-on-a-chip devices in a controlled manner, allowing quantitative characterization of the bioaerosol flow. Ultimately, these biomimetic microfluidic devices can be used to replace the standard cell monolayers and animal models in clinical and basic research.