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In Biosensors & bioelectronics

Creating a biomimetic in vitro lung model to recapitulate the infection and inflammatory reactions has been an important but challenging task for biomedical researchers. The 2D based cell culture models - culturing of lung epithelium - have long existed but lack multiple key physiological conditions, such as the involvement of different types of immune cells and the creation of connected lung models to study viral or bacterial infection between different individuals. Pioneers in organ-on-a-chip research have developed lung alveoli-on-a-chip and connected two lung chips with direct tubing and flow. Although this model provides a powerful tool for lung alveolar disease modeling, it still lacks interactions among immune cells, such as macrophages and monocytes, and the mimic of air flow and aerosol transmission between lung-chips is missing. Here, we report the development of an improved human lung physiological system (Lung-MPS) with both alveolar and pulmonary bronchial chambers that permits the integration of multiple immune cells into the system. We observed amplified inflammatory signals through the dynamic interactions among macrophages, epithelium, endothelium, and circulating monocytes. Furthermore, an integrated microdroplet/aerosol transmission system was fabricated and employed to study the propagation of pseudovirus particles containing microdroplets in integrated Lung-MPSs. Finally, a deep-learning algorithm was developed to characterize the activation of cells in this Lung-MPS. This Lung-MPS could provide an improved and more biomimetic sensory system for the study of COVID-19 and other high-risk infectious lung diseases.

Chen Zaozao, Huang Jie, Zhang Jing, Xu Zikang, Li Qiwei, Ouyang Jun, Yan Yuchuan, Sun Shiqi, Ye Huan, Wang Fei, Zhu Jianfeng, Wang Zhangyan, Chao Jie, Pu Yuepu, Gu Zhongze


COVID-19, Cytokine storm, Lung-on-a-chip, Microfluidics