CSO of BFlow
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial vessels that is behind the main cardiovascular pathologies. Atherosclerosis is a complex multifactorial process, but the current cell culture models cannot reproduce all physiological conditions of human blood vessels. New in vitro advanced models are needed to test drugs targeting endothelial dysfunction and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Vessel-on-a-chip models are able to reproduce relevant characteristics of human blood vessels, such as circular section, microvascular environment and physiological shear stress. In this work, we present three models that are designed to study the following characteristics:
- Bifurcated Vessel-on-a-chip to characterize the effects of local flow in the endothelial layer, including a model with extracellular matrix (ECM) functionalization. This model reproduces the effects of local flow in large arteries, an interesting druggable region.
- Atherosclerosis on a chip with a bifurcation with an atherosclerotic plaque on one branch, which allows simulating the conditions of the local course of the disease and its treatments.
- Microvascular and barrier chip with a region to stabilize an extracellular matrix for microvessel, angiogenesis and/or endothelial barrier assays. This model is a relevant model to study the effect of drugs on both microvascular formation and endothelial barrier function.
The implementation and use of these models in the drug discovery process will allow:
- To reduce cost and time in the drug development process.
- To obtain data to rationally decide which drugs should be tested in clinical trials, reducing their failure rate.
- To reduce the use of experimental animal models.