DynaMiTES – A dynamic cell culture platform for in vitro drug testing PART 1 – Engineering of microfluidic system and technical simulations

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Conventional safety and efficacy test models, such as animal experiments or static in vitro cell culture models, can often not reliably predict the most promising drug candidates. Therefore, a novel microfluidic cell culture platform, called Dynamic Micro Tissue Engineering System (DynaMiTES), was designed to allow online analysis of drugs permeating through barrier forming tissues under dynamic conditions combined with monitoring of the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) by electrodes optimized for homogeneous current distribution. A variety of pre-cultivated cell culture inserts can be integrated and exposed to well controlled dynamic micro flow conditions, resulting in a tightly regulated exposure of the cells to tested drugs, drug formulations and shear forces. With these qualities, the new system can provide more relevant information compared to static measurements. As a first in vitro model, a three-dimensional hemicornea construct consisting of human keratocytes (HCK-Ca) and epithelial cells (HCE-T) was successfully tested in the DynaMiTES. Thereby, we were able to demonstrate the functionality and cell compatibility of this new organ on chip test platform. The modular design of the DynaMiTES allows fast adaptation suitable for the investigation of drug permeation through other important cellular barriers.

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