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Grant for Lung-on-Chip research to improve understanding of corona and treatments

Monday, 14 December 2020

hDMT partners Erasmus MC and Maastricht University received a grant from the ZonMW COVID-19 Programma for the project Employing a physiological microfluidic lung bioreactor to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology and testing of therapeutics.The two-year project started on September 1th, 2020 and is led by Robbert Rottier (Erasmus MC)

The project:
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown the importance of quick responses to adequately battle the global health problems. Aside from the early detection and treatment of patients, it is important to improve methods to quickly understand infection mechanisms and to develop vaccines.

This project's goal is to culture human lung cells in a small bioreactor (Lung-on-Chip) and to mimic the physiology of the lung as much as possible. Airway cells, epithelium, and cells that form the internal side of blood vessels, endothelium, are cultured together in the bioreactor. The epithelial cells and endothelial cells form an artificial airway and blood vessel, respectively, through which air and culture medium will be circulated.

This system is a better approximation of the airways than the current available systems, and will better mimic viral infections. With our system it will be possible to quickly test promising medicines. Finally, the bioreactor can be commercially produced and its simplicity makes it easy to implement.

Co-applicants:
R.M.H. Wijnen, F.G. Grosveld, B. Haagmans and M.C. Iriondo Martinez (Erasmus MC) and
R. Truckenmüller, P. Habibović, S. Giselbrecht and Danielle Baptista (Maastricht University)

Industrial partners:
BioLamina (Sweden) and 300MICRONS (Germany)

Source: ZonMw

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