• Engineering Solutions for Representative Models of the Gastrointestinal Human-Microbe Interface

      Eain, Marc Mac Giolla; Baginska, Joanna; Greenhalgh, Kacy; Fritz, Joëlle V.; Zenhausern, Frederic; Wilmes, Paul; Univ Arizona, Ctr Appl Nanobiosci & Med (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2017-02)
      Host-microbe interactions at the gastrointestinal interface have emerged as a key component in the governance of human health and disease. Advances in micro-physiological systems are providing researchers with unprecedented access and insights into this complex relationship. These systems combine the benefits of microengineering, microfluidics, and cell culture in a bid to recreate the environmental conditions prevalent in the human gut. Here we present the human-microbial cross talk (HuMiX) platform, one such system that leverages this multidisciplinary approach to provide a representative in vitro model of the human gastrointestinal interface. HuMiX presents a novel and robust means to study the molecular interactions at the host-microbe interface. We summarize our proof-of-concept results obtained using the platform and highlight its potential to greatly enhance our understanding of host-microbe interactions with a potential to greatly impact the pharmaceutical, food, nutrition, and healthcare industries in the future. A number of key questions and challenges facing these technologies are also discussed. (C) 2017 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier LTD on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Higher Education Press Limited Company. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).