In this project, she aims to develop fatty liver-on-chip disease model system to study the NAFLD/NASH phenotype and the potential beneficial properties of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) for fatty liver disease. The project aims to advance the established liver-on-chip model by complexifying the system with the addition of hepatic immune cell type, Kupffer cells and instigating fatty liver disease pathology. Later stages of the project may involve multi-omics approaches and CRISPR-gene editing tools to characterize the effects of SCFAs and intervene with their downstream targets to understand the molecular mechanism of these dietary fibre-derived compounds produced by our gut microbiota.
This project is a collaborative effort with prof. JW Jonker at the Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Centre Groningen to develop a novel model system to study fatty liver disease and potential treatment options. He is an expert in molecular biology and pharmacological manipulations in NAFLD and our collaborations allows us to answer the biological questions presented and validate the fatty liver-on-chip by comparison with available traditional 2D/3D cell cultures systems and dietary animal models.