3D Printed Transwell-Integrated Nose-on-Chip Model to Evaluate Effects of Air Flow-Induced Mechanical Stresses on Mucous Secretion

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While there are many chip models that simulate the air-tissue interface of the respiratory system, only a few represent the upper respiratory system. These chips are restricted to unidirectional flow patterns that are not comparable to the highly dynamic and variable flow patterns found in the native nasal cavity. Here we describe the development of a tunable noseon- chip device that mimics the air-mucosa interface and is coupled to an air delivery system that simulates natural breathing patterns through the generation of bi-directional air flow. Additionally, we employ computational modeling to demonstrate how the device design can be tuned to replicate desired mechanical characteristics within specific regions of the human nasal cavity. We also demonstrate how to culture human nasal epithelial cell line RPMI 2650 within the lab-on-chip (LOC) device. Lastly, Alcian Blue histological staining was performed to label mucin proteins, which play important roles in mucous secretion. Our results revealed that dynamic flow conditions can increase mucous secretion for RPMI 2650 cells, when compared to no flow, or stationary, conditions.



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