Human Splenon-on-a-chip: Design and Validation of a Microfluidic Model Resembling the Interstitial Slits and the Close/Fast and Open/Slow Microcirculations

L. G. Rigat-Brugarolas, M. Bernabeu, A. Elizalde, M. de Niz, L. Martin-Jaular, C. Fernandez-Becerra, A. Homs-Corbera, H. A. del Portillo, J. Samitier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Splenomegaly, albeit variably, is a landmark of malaria infection. Due to technical and ethical constraints, however, the role of the spleen in malaria remains vastly unknown. The spleen is a complex three-dimensional branched vasculature exquisitely adapted to perform different functions containing closed/rapid and open/slow microcirculations, compartmentalized parenchyma (red pulp, white pulp and marginal zone), and sinusoidal structure forcing erythrocytes to squeeze through interstitial slits before reaching venous circulation. Taking into account these features, we have designed and developed a newfangled microfluidic device of a human splenon-on-a-chip (the minimal functional unit of the red pulp facilitating blood-filtering and destruction of malarial-infected red blood cells). Our starting point consisted in translating splenon physiology to the most similar microfluidic network, mimicking the hydrodynamic behavior of the organ, to evaluate and simulate its activities, mechanics and physiological responses and, therefore, enable us to study biological hypotheses. Different physiological features have been translated into engineering elements that can be combined to integrate a biomimetic microfluidic spleen model. The device is fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a biocompatible polymer, irreversibly bonded to glass. Microfluidics analyses have confirmed that 90% of the blood circulates through a fast-flow compartment whereas the remaining 10% circulates through a slow compartment, equivalently to what has been observed in a real spleen. Moreover, erythrocytes and reticulocytes going through the slow-flow compartment squeeze at the end of it through 2μm physical constraints resembling interstitial slits to reach the closed/rapid circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication13th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2013 - MEDICON 2013
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages884-887
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9783319008455
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event13th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2013, MEDICON 2013 - Seville, Spain
Duration: Sep 25 2013Sep 28 2013

Publication series

NameIFMBE Proceedings
Volume41
ISSN (Print)1680-0737

Conference

Conference13th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2013, MEDICON 2013
Country/TerritorySpain
CitySeville
Period9/25/139/28/13

Keywords

  • Malaria
  • Microfluidics
  • Organ-on-a-chip
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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