Organ on a chip models, fabricated with plasma treatment, replicate key tissue structure, function and other physiological characteristics to better explore drug delivery, toxicology and disease progression in vitro. In medical research, in vivo testing is often impractical and animal testing can be ineffective in identifying effective drugs or toxic substances. Organ on a chip models provide several advantages, including dynamic mechanical environments, spaciotemporal chemical gradients, live cell imaging and the potential to create tissues from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs). As a result, researchers have more control over drug testing experiments and have more tools available for analysis.  

The development of organ on a chip models is more readily facilitated with plasma treatment and improved microfabrication technologies. Plasma cleaning introduces reactive functional groups onto the PDMS device surface, enabling water-tight covalent bonding and hydrophilic microchannels. In addition, plasma-treated PDMS surfaces have improved wettability, which facilitates cell adsorption and can be beneficial for viability, proliferation and function. 

Examples of Organ on a chip models developed with Harrick Plasma cleaners:

  • Tooth on-a-chip – Model probing the morphologic, metabolic and functional influence of biomaterials on live dental pulp cells [1]
  • Lung-on-a-chip – Calu-3 cells cultured at an air-liquid interface [2]
  • Muscle-on-a-chip – motor neurons coupled to skeletal muscles interacting via the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) [3]
  • Heart-on-a-chip – iPSC‐derived cardiac myocytes were treated with verapamil (a known chronotropic drug) and a toxicology analysis was performed [4]
  • Wound-on-a-chip  – Mimicked the paracrine component of early inflammation [5]
  • Membrane-on-a-chip  – Model of the amnion membrane that lines the human intrauterine cavity, amnion epithelial cells (AECs) and amnion mesenchymal cells (AMCs) [6]
  • Liver-on-a-chip – Study the dynamic and spatial transport of particles between breast cancer and the liver (diseased or not) [7]
  • Tumor-on-a-chip – validated the efficacy of drug-loaded nanoparticles on colorectal tumors [8]

Relevant Articles from Harrick Plasma Users

[1] França CM, Tahayeri A, Rodrigues NS, et al. “The tooth on-a-chip: a microphysiologic model system mimicking the biologic interface of the tooth with biomaterials”. Lab Chip. 2020;20(2):405-413.

[2] Shrestha, J.; Ghadiri, M.; Shanmugavel, M.; Bazaz, S. R.; Vasilescu, S.; Ding, L. & Warkiani, M. E. A Rapidly Prototyped Lung-on-a-chip Model Using 3D-Printed Molds Organs-on-a-Chip, 2020, 100001

[3] Osaki T, Uzel SGM, Kamm RD. On-chip 3D neuromuscular model for drug screening and precision medicine in neuromuscular disease. Nat Protoc. 2020;15(2):421-449.

[4] Visone, R.; Ugolini, G. S.; Vinarsky, V.; Penati, M.; Redaelli, A.; Forte, G. & Rasponi,” A Simple Vacuum-Based Microfluidic Technique to Establish High-Throughput Organs-On-Chip and 3D Cell Cultures at the Microscale Advanced Materials Technologies”, 2019, 4, 1800319.

[5] Biglari S, Le TYL, Tan RP, et al. Simulating Inflammation in a Wound Microenvironment Using a Dermal Wound-on-a-Chip Model. Adv Healthc Mater. 2019;8(1):e1801307.

[6] Richardson L, Jeong S, Kim S, Han A, Menon R. Amnion membrane organ-on-chip: an innovative approach to study cellular interactions. FASEB J. 2019;33(8):8945-8960.

[7] Ozkan A, Ghousifam N, Hoopes PJ, Yankeelov TE, Rylander MN. In vitro vascularized liver and tumor tissue microenvironments on a chip for dynamic determination of nanoparticle transport and toxicity. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2019;116(5):1201-1219.

Harrick Plasma is a leading supplier of plasma equipment to the research community. We have been providing quality tabletop plasma devices specifically designed for laboratory and R&D use for over 30 years.