Personalized “Crohn’s Disease-on-a-Chip” towards Precision Therapeutics. - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Personalized “Crohn’s Disease-on-a-Chip” towards Precision Therapeutics.

The goal of the proposed research is to develop a laboratory model of Crohn’s disease (CD), “Crohn’s Disease-on-a-Chip”. We mimic the microstructure and physiological function of human intestine by integrating tools developed in a microchip computer technology, tissue engineering, and clinical microbiology. We have a platform technology to maintain viable human intestinal cells in a thumb-size microchip with dynamic flow and bowel movement from days to weeks. The bottom line of our innovation is to take human samples including gut cells, immune cells, and gut bacteria isolated from CD patients as well as non-CD healthy individuals, then place them in the CD-on-a-Chip to recapitulate disease progression of CD. This approach allows us to build CD patient’s avatars (i.e. multiple CD chips) that can simulate CD symptoms of a single CD patient. We will recruit at least 10 CD patients. Thus, we expect to have ten different CD patients’ avatars to test possible therapeutics. We will test fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), where we add gut bacteria isolated from healthy donors into CD patient’s chips to validate if this approach can contribute to the rescue of CD. As a trendsetter, the CD-on-a-Chip may provide a translational platform to discover personalized precision therapeutics.