Discovery Park

Special Seminar: BME Graduate Student Exchange with the University of Michigan

November 22 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - MJIS 2001

Engineering a physiologically relevant human on a chip.


Abstract:A physiologically relevant human-on-a-chip would be a powerful tool for drug discovery and screening, disease modeling, and many other applications. Recent studies have been able to recapitulate critical functional and environmental characteristics of individual organs in miniaturized, engineered systems, but how to correctly scale networks of these organs-on-a-chip to form a functional human analog remains an open question. As shown by a series of simple blood-adipose tissue experiments, rational design of inter-organ scaling relationships is essential, yet current approaches are unable to address these concerns. Scaling by allometric principles is based on several assumptions that may not hold true in these microscale, in vitro systems. On the other hand, more rigorous approaches such as designing networks by mass and residence time require a priori knowledge of drug metabolism and relevant organs, making implementation of a generalized model challenging. Building from these paradigms, we propose a metabolically supported functional scaling concept centered around maintaining in vivo cellular metabolic rates on chip. Specifically, by limiting oxygen availability in vitro we can force cells to assume a basal metabolic rate that more closely mimics that found in vivo. Further, by dividing organs into functionally 2D or functionally 3D classes and implementing various engineering workarounds, we propose avenues to overcome challenges associated with this novel scaling approach. 


Biography:Joe Labuz received his bachelors degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin in 2010 and completed his masters in biomedical engineering in 2012 at the University of Michigan where he is now a doctoral candidate under the guidance of Dr. Suichi Takayama. His primary research involves studying biological systems through microfabrication, microfluidics, and aqueous two-phase systems.

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