Vessels on Chip is an interdisciplinary program to which each partner contributes depending on their own ongoing research and clinical interest. Leiden University Medical Center provides (anonymized) patient samples and corresponding medical histories and turns the patient’s cells into iPS cells that can be made to form any type of cell in the human body. This includes the vascular endothelial- and mural cells that make up vessels. Each type of blood- (and lymph) vessel, arterial, venous or capillary can be identified and characterized by single cell mRNA sequencing technology at the Hubrecht Institute.
Groups at the Technical Universities are experts in microfluidics and microfabrication, and already have novel methods for measuring vascular integrity and dysfunction operational. The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research contributes expertise in metabolomics and mass spectrometry to assess secreted biomarkers in minute volumes of fluid flowing through the vessels on chip. Working closely with biotech companies, such as Pluriomics (for mass cell production), Mimetas (device development and test) and Galapagos (drug discovery), hDMT aims to create models and bioassays with quantitative readouts for multiple chronic and acute vascular diseases. High throughput manufacturing is facilitated by cooperation with Philips.