Dynamic Ex Vivo Model of Lung Micromechanics

Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a mutation in CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator), which is mechan-osensitive. Creating an environment which closely follows the mechanical strain experienced by the alveolar-capillary membrane will enable accuracy in further studies into Cystic Fibrosis, CFTR behavior, and therapeutic delivery to cure symptoms of as well as the disease itself. Research has previously explored the effects of uniaxial stretching on such cells, but has yet to thoroughly investigate a biaxial, dynamic environment on the CFTR. A “Lung on a Chip” (LoC) device has been fully constructed which employs electromagnetic actuation of a PDMS membrane combined with a hydraulic force transmission layer to generate biaxial stress and strain. The device has been partially optimized and the efficiency of fluidic volume transfer—and therefore fluidic force transmission—as well as strain on the membrane in wells have been analyzed. While desired fluid force transmission and strain were not achieved with the current embodiment, a strong foundation exists for further optimization.