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Disease models

Microfluidic device to model IL-2-induced pulmonary edema

In vitro studies suggest a microfluidic device could be used to model pulmonary edema and identify molecules to prevent the disease. The device consists of human alveolar epithelial cells and pulmonary microvascular cells separated by a porous membrane that is subjected to mechanical strain to mimic breathing. In the chip, exposure to IL-2, a cancer therapy that causes pulmonary edema as a side effect, increased vascular permeability and fluid leak into the alveolar air space compared with no treatment. These effects were inhibited by angiopoietin 1 (ANG1; ANGPT1) or a transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4; VRL2) inhibitor. Next steps include additional studies to confirm that data from the chips can replace animal model data.

SciBX 5(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1190
Published online Nov. 15, 2012

Patents filed; available for licensing

Huh, D. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Nov. 11, 2012;
Contact: Donald E. Ingber, Harvard University, Boston, Mass.
Contact: Geraldine A. Hamilton, same affiliation as above