Engineering Solutions for Representative Models of the Gastrointestinal Human-Microbe Interface

Marc Mac Giolla Eain, Joanna Baginska, Kacy Greenhalgh, Joëlle V. Fritz, Frederic Zenhausern, Paul Wilmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Host-microbe interactions at the gastrointestinal interface have emerged as a key component in the governance of human health and disease. Advances in micro-physiological systems are providing researchers with unprecedented access and insights into this complex relationship. These systems combine the benefits of microengineering, microfluidics, and cell culture in a bid to recreate the environmental conditions prevalent in the human gut. Here we present the human-microbial cross talk (HuMiX) platform, one such system that leverages this multidisciplinary approach to provide a representative in vitro model of the human gastrointestinal interface. HuMiX presents a novel and robust means to study the molecular interactions at the host-microbe interface. We summarize our proof-of-concept results obtained using the platform and highlight its potential to greatly enhance our understanding of host-microbe interactions with a potential to greatly impact the pharmaceutical, food, nutrition, and healthcare industries in the future. A number of key questions and challenges facing these technologies are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • HuMiX
  • Microbiome
  • Microfluidics
  • Organ-on-a-chip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Engineering(all)

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