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In Vitro Immunity: An Overview of Immunocompetent Organ-on-Chip Models

Impressive advances have been made to replicate human physiology in vitro over the last few years due to the growth of the organ-on-chip (OoC) field in both industrial and academic settings.

In Vitro Immunity: An Overview of Immunocompetent Organ-on-Chip Models

OoCs are a type of microphysiological system (MPS) that imitates functional and dynamic aspects of native human organ biology on a microfluidic device. Organoids and organotypic models, ranging in their complexity from simple single-cell to complex multi-cell type constructs, are being incorporated into OoC microfluidic devices to better mimic human physiology. OoC technology has now progressed to the stage at which it has received official recognition by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an alternative to standard procedures in drug development, such as animal studies and traditional in vitro assays.However, an area that is still lagging behind is the incorporation of the immune system, which is a critical element required to investigate human health and disease. In this review, we summarise the progress made to integrate human immunology into various OoC systems, specifically focusing on models related to organ barriers and lymphoid organs.

These models utilise microfluidic devices that are either commercially available or custom-made. This review explores the difference between the use of innate and adaptive immune cells and their role for modelling organ-specific diseases in OoCs. Immunocompetent multi-OoC models are also highlighted and the extent to which they recapitulate systemic physiology is discussed.Together, the aim of this review is to describe the current state of immune-OoCs, the limitations and the future perspectives needed to improve the field.

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