University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a lung-on-chip device for studying the impact of micro- and nanoplastics on human lung tissue

Mol, Lysanne (2023) Developing a lung-on-chip device for studying the impact of micro- and nanoplastics on human lung tissue.

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Abstract:Plastics degrade very slowly and thus micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) are formed. These particles are easily transported and can be consumed or inhaled by humans. The potential health effects of MNPs on humans is unknown due to lack of standardization and model limitations. In this study, a lung-on-chip (LOC) device is developed as an improved model for studying the translocation of MNPs over the lung epithelium. This model incorporates a gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel that recreates the extracellular matrix in stiffness, shape and composition. It was shown that Calu-3 and NCi-H441 cell lines could form tight monolayers on the gel with a high presence of ZO-1 tight junction proteins. Additionally, primary cells were successfully differentiated in Transwell systems. Translocation experiments with FITC-Dextran and polystyrene showed barrier function of the monolayer. Lastly, two LOC models were developed to incorporate the hydrogel and epithelial cells and optimized to maintain air-liquid interface. Besides this, a dynamic model was developed that could stretch the hydrogels with the cells to recreate the breathing motion. A fabrication process was designed and tested, but limitations were seen in demolding the chips from the wafer. For both chips, it is essential that the binding of GelMA to the chips is optimized.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:42 biology, 43 environmental science, 50 technical science in general
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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