Heart and kidney organoids maintain organ-specific function in a microfluidic system


Heart and kidney communicate with one another in an interdependent relationship and they influence each other's behavior reciprocally, as pathological changes in one organ can damage the other. Although independent human in vitro models for heart and kidney exist, they do not capture their dynamic crosstalk. We have developed a microfluidic system which can be used to study heart and kidney interaction in vitro. Cardiac microtissues (cMTs) and kidney organoids (kOs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were generated and loaded into two separated communicating chambers of a perfusion chip. Static culture conditions were compared with dynamic culture under unidirectional flow. Tissue viability was maintained for minimally 72 h under both conditions, as indicated by the presence of sarcomeric structures coupled with beating activity in cMTs and the presence of nephron structures and albumin uptake in kOs. We concluded that this system enables the study of human cardiac and kidney organoid interaction in vitro while controlling parameters like fluidic flow speed and direction. Together, this "cardiorenal-unit" provides a new in vitro model to study the cardiorenal axis and it may be further developed to investigate diseases involving both two organs and their potential treatments. © 2023 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Authors Gabbin B, Meraviglia V, Angenent ML, Ward-van Oostwaard D, Sol W, Mummery CL, Rabelink TJ, van Meer BJ, van den Berg CW, Bellin M
Journal Materials today. Bio
Publication Date 2023 Dec;23:100818
PubMed 37810749
PubMed Central PMC10550812
DOI 10.1016/j.mtbio.2023.100818

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