DLN: Tissue engineering and bioelectronic devices for disease modelling and drug discovery
In vitro models of biological systems are essential for our understanding of biological systems, to model disease and develop novel therapies. In many cases where animal models have failed to translate to useful data for human diseases, physiologically relevant in vitro (human) models can bridge the gap. Many difficulties exist in interfacing complex, 3D models with technology adapted for monitoring function. Polymeric electroactive materials and devices can bridge the gap between hard inflexible materials used for physical transducers and soft, compliant biological tissues. An additional advantage of these electronic materials is their flexibility for processing and fabrication in a wide range of formats.(1) Our work seeks to engineer tissues with polymeric transducers built into the heart of the tissue, avoiding post hoc integration. We therefore tailor our transducers to be as biomimetic as possible to enable seamless interfacing with tissues and high fidelity signal transduction.(2) An example of this work is our development of a 3D porous electrode used to host and monitor a model of the human intestine, which I will showcase in this talk. In the second part of my presentation I will highlight recent research using biomimetic models of cell membranes interfaced with organic electronic devices for ion channel monitoring and virus fusion detection.(3)
1. J. Rivnay, S. Inal, A. Salleo, R. M. Owens, M. Berggren, G. G. Malliaras, Organic electrochemical transistors. Nat. Rev. Mater. 3, 17086 (2018).
2. C. Pitsalidis, M. P. Ferro, D. Iandolo, L. Tzounis, S. Inal, R. M. Owens, Transistor in a tube: A route to three-dimensional bioelectronics. Sci. Adv. 4, eaat4253 (2018).
3. A.-M. Pappa, H.-Y. Liu, W. Traberg-Christensen, Q. Thiburce, A. Savva, A. Pavia, A. Salleo, S. Daniel, R. M. Owens, Optical and Electronic Ion Channel Monitoring from Native Human Membranes. ACS Nano (2020), doi:10.1021/acsnano.0c01330.
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