Addressing diabetes and NASH: Modular organ-on-a-chip solutions combine 3D microtissues and flow.
Tackling metabolic diseases ranging from diabetes to fatty-liver disease is going to be a key objective for healthcare providers and our society in general in the years to come. By emulating these complex disease in-vitro, we try to understand the complex interplay between external and genetic influences causing disease progression. Liver and pancreas are key organs in our metabolism and interact through different endocrine factors to maintain glucose homeostasis in the human body. An impaired function of one of the organs can cause metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or NASH. Studying these diseases requires a systemic model that can reproduce organ-organ-interactions. Key aspects encompass biological and technical reproducibility, availability of tissue models, their usability in suitable treatment windows, access to clinically relevant readouts, and system compatibility with standard lab processes. We implemented a human in-vitro multi-tissue system in a scalable format using 3D organotypic microtissues for establishing organ-organ interactions. The liver model consisted of a primary human hepatocyte/Kupffer cell co-culture with preserved metabolic and inflammatory function over at least two weeks. The primary human islet microtissues comprised all pancreatic endocrine cells at physiological ratio and remained glucose responsive over the same culturing period.
Biography Jan Lichtenberg
Jan Lichtenberg, Ph.D., is Co-Founder and CEO of Swiss- and US-based InSphero Inc., the pioneer of industrial-grade, 3D-cell-based assay solutions and scaffold-free 3D organ-on-a-chip technology. Through partnerships, InSphero supports pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers in successful decision-making by accurately rebuilding the human physiology in vitro. The company specializes in liver toxicology, metabolic diseases (e.g., T1 & T2 diabetes and NAFLD & NASH liver disease), and oncology (with a focus on immuno-oncology and PDX models). The scalable Akura™ technology underlying the company’s 3D InSight™ Discovery and Safety Platforms includes 96 and 384-well plate formats and the Akura™ Flow organ-on-a-chip system to drive efficient innovation throughout all phases of drug development.
Jan co-founded InSphero in 2009 and expanded the business to encompass all top 15 global pharmaceutical companies. Prior to InSphero, Jan had VP R&D and Product Management positions at Hocoma AG (medical robotics) and Uwatec (microelectronics). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Neuchâtel and managed a research group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich.
Day: Wednesday December 11th
Where: Health & Life science track
Time: 11:20h – 11:50h