An iPSC-derived small intestine-on-chip with self-organizing epithelial, mesenchymal, and neural cells

Organ Model: Small Intestine

Application: Model Development

Abstract: Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived intestinal organoids are valuable tools for researching developmental biology and personalized therapies, but their closed topology and relative immature state limit applications. Here, we use organ-on-chip technology to develop a hiPSC-derived intestinal barrier with apical and basolateral access in a more physiological in vitro microenvironment. To replicate growth factor gradients along the crypt-villus axis, we locally expose the cells to expansion and differentiation media. In these conditions, intestinal epithelial cells self-organize into villus-like folds with physiological barrier integrity, and myofibroblasts and neurons emerge and form a subepithelial tissue in the bottom channel. The growth factor gradients efficiently balance dividing and mature cell types and induce an intestinal epithelial composition, including absorptive and secretory lineages, resembling the composition of the human small intestine. This well-characterized hiPSC-derived intestine-on-chip system can facilitate personalized studies on physiological processes and therapy development in the human small intestine.