Institute of Functional Interfaces

3D Tissue Reconstruction

The field of tissue engineering deals with the development of functional, three-dimensional (3D) biological replacement tissues in order to perform organ-specific experiments in vitro. In the body, the individual cells are arranged in 3D assemblies and are in contact with each other as well as with their extracellular matrix. In addition, mechanical properties, such as shear forces caused by the bloodstream, influence cell behavior. For a functional in vivo transferability, it is therefore important to simulate the supply of the tissue via a blood flow. The vasQchip was developed in the research group of Prof. Schepers as an in vitro model for a vascularized 3D tissue. The chip consists of a porous, semicircular microchannel surrounded by a compartment, which is used for the cultivation of human organotypic cells. The endothelial cell-populated channel can be connected to a microfluidic device, which simulates an artificial blood flow. The surrounding compartment is supplied with nutrients through the pores of the channel. With the vasQchip, human vascularized organ tissue can be reconstructed (e.g. brain, liver) and used for drug testing or disease modelling.