Photonic Biosensor-Enabled Tissue Chips
Microphysiological systems, or tissue chips, seek to reproducibly mimic human physiology in vitro. These devices contain human cells, and use microfluidic channels to deliver nutrients and appropriate signals to the developing tissues. However, most tissue chip systems currently used monitor cell health and physiology using advanced microscopy, which usually requires fixation and therefore many biological replicates at different timepoints, or transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER), which provides a surrogate marker of tissue barrier integrity. Both of these methods hinder the tissue chip in some way, and/or provide extremely limited data.
By incorporating photonic ring resonator biosensors, we are able to monitor the secretion of specific protein analytes in a label-free and real-time manner. Additionally, passage of analytes through the barrier is possible with our photonic biosensors. Our sensor-integrated tissue chips provide higher-dimensional data for the study of diseases and drug delivery applications. Current projects apply this concept to the blood-brain barrier, tendon, and skin.
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