Emulate launched the Colon Intestine-Chip for researchers investigating inflammatory intestinal diseases. The complete, lab-ready Human Emulation System and the Colon Intestine-Chip will allow researchers to recapitulate specific human colon cell functionality, gain a greater understanding of mechanisms of inflammation, and investigate potential drug targets, says Lorna Ewart, executive vice president of science, at Emulate, adding that the model will also accelerate identification of drug candidates to prevent inflammatory damage that are more likely to translate to the clinic.

The company plans to continue developing further applications for the Colon Intestine-Chip, enabling researchers to study immune cell recruitment and how the gut microbiome affects the epithelial barrier.

“The intestinal barrier is critical to human health,” continues Ewart. “Barrier disruption by inflammation has been implicated in several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. For researchers seeking a more predictive model of the human colon, the Emulate Colon Intestine-Chip offers a high-fidelity model to study the mechanisms of epithelial barrier regulation and investigate the efficacy of therapeutics.”

The new organ-chip model incorporates human colonic organoids and supportive colonic endothelial cells in a dynamic microenvironment that simulates mechanical forces of the intestine, resulting in a three-dimensional model of the colonic epithelial-endothelial interface with physiological functionality and improved gene expression, explains Ewart.

“The co-culture of cells in the Organ-Chip enables formation of a tight epithelial barrier with low permeability, highly polarized cells, and a mature brush border,” she says. “The model responds to inflammatory stimuli in a concentration, time, and donor-dependent manner, allowing researchers to study mechanisms of cytokine-mediated inflammation and therapeutic efficacy.”