Three-stage enzymatic digestive system for a gut-on-a-chip

Pim de Haan, Margaryta A. Ianovska, Hans Bouwmeester, Elisabeth Verpoorte

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Several different devices to model the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been developed, which may find applications as pharmacological or toxicological model systems.1 To create a fully functional gut-on-a-chip, it is essential to incorporate the digestive functions of the GI tract into such a device. We describe the development of a three-stage microfluidic system, mimicking the digestive functions of the mouth, stomach and small intestine using cell-free chaotic micromixers (Figure 1A). In these micromixers, artificial digestive juices2 are thoroughly mixed with a sample solution in physiologically relevant ratios. Herringbone-shaped grooves incorporated in the surface of the channel cause a perturbation of laminar flows, enhancing the mixing of the contents (Figure 1B).3,4 This system uses a continuous supply of both the sample solution (e.g. a drug or toxicant) and artificial saliva, gastric juice, duodenal juice and bile, allowing both short- and long-term exposure to the sample compounds. The resulting chyme will be presented to a gut-on-a-chip, a barrier model of the intestine containing human epithelial cells. This microfluidic digestive system will provide a useful in vitro tool to study the influence of digestion on drugs and toxicants and subsequent absorption of these compounds or their metabolites from the intestinal lumen.
1. Huh et al. Nat Protoc 2013;8(11):2135–57.
2. Walczak et al. Nanotoxicology 2013;7(7):1198–210.
3. Stroock et al. Science 2002;295(5555):647-51.
4. Ianovska et al. RSC Adv 2017;7:9090-9.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2-May-2017
EventInternational Organ-on-Chip Symposium 2017 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 2-May-20173-May-2017


ConferenceInternational Organ-on-Chip Symposium 2017
Abbreviated titleIOOCS

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