BTG: Scarred by life? An innovative model for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis research

Project: Internally funded project

Description

Our proposal combines expertise across the chemistry-biology-engineering continuum to develop a new, animal sparing model of fibrosis. We aim to grow different lung cell types in co-culture with a 3D architecture in a microfluidic system to better mimic in vivo conditions found in IPF. In Michele Zagnoni’s lab he has previously set up 3D co-culture systems using neuronal cells to mimic the brain environment and he has utilised fluorescent probes to examine his findings. Louise Young also has the cells and expertise required in her lab in order to rapidly implement this innovative model using the platform available in SIPBS.

Based on all of the above, we have all the individual skills and experience necessary to realise this model within the project team. The only barrier to progression is in securing dedicated resource to enable proof of concept, which is therefore the focus of this BTG application. Once the model has been implemented and validated, we can profile the autotaxin inhibitors previously identified by the chemistry (CJ) lab, giving the added benefit of being able to expedite the development of potential new drugs from this effort without recourse to expensive, lower quality models.

The primary benefit will undoubtedly be the implementation of a more in vivo like IPF model (which will be unique within the research area as a whole). Additional important deliverables from this work include development of a model that is cost effective; tissue culture and compound costs are reduced due to smaller volumes required for this technique and this also lends itself to higher throughput. In addition, this “lung-on-a-chip” model offers a valuable alternative to animal testing.
StatusNot started