Lab Chip 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798, Singapore. and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 308232, Singapore.
Mechanistic understanding of atherosclerosis is largely hampered by the lack of a suitable in vitro human arterial model that recapitulates the arterial wall structure, and the interplay between different cell types and the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). This work introduces a novel microfluidic endothelial cell (EC)-smooth muscle cell (SMC) 3D co-culture platform that replicates the structural and biological aspects of the human arterial wall for modeling early atherosclerosis. Using a modified surface tension-based ECM patterning method, we established a well-defined intima-media-like structure, and identified an ECM composition (collagen I and Matrigel mixture) that retains the SMCs in a quiescent and aligned state, characteristic of a healthy artery. Read More