Developing blood and lymphatic vascularized 3D tissue models

Project Leaders: Dr. Gihun Lee, Stephanie Huang

Undergraduate Researchers: Sara Meehan, Harry Wang

Authored by: Stephanie Huang

We develop vessel-on-chip technology and approaches to create physiological models of the blood and lymphatic vasculature in vitro. Specific areas of investigation include the study of how chemical and mechanical signals, including uremic toxins, transluminal pressure, and shear and normal stresses impact blood vessel formation and function. Our platforms feature perfusable channels of endothelial cells within a soft, porous, 3D extracellular matrix. With these devices we are working to synthesize healthy and diseased vessels to study endothelial barrier function, angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and lymphatic drainage. In addition, we are developing these platforms to include perivascular support cells to more closely recreate physiological conditions and to incorporate novel pumping systems to better recapitulate physiologic perfusion.

Key collaborators:

Dr. Frances Ligler, Professor of Biomedical engineering, UNC/NCSU 

Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD/PhD - Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Co-Director of UNC Kidney Center, UNC School of Medicine

Key resources:

Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory

Funding:

NIH MIRA 1R35 GM142944-01 (PI: Polacheck)

North Carolina Biotechnology Center (PI: Polacheck)

NIH Grant T32HL697698 (to Huang)

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We use a combination of novel fabrication methods, biomaterials, and computational approaches to design, fabricate, and validate new systems for modeling the vasculature.