NWA-ORC grant for Organ-on-Chip models with integrated lymphatics

November 27, 2020

A 5 million Euro NWA-ORC grant was awarded to hDMT researchers to develop immunocompetent human Organ-on-Chip models with integrated lymph drainage for drug discovery and testing (LymphChip). The project is led by Valeria Orlova (coordinator) from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Christine Mummery (LUMC) and Sue Gibbs (VUMC).

The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in our immune system, for example by regulating the immune response to pathogens. Lymphatic dysfunction underlies many diseases and could determine the effectiveness of therapies, whether drug or stem-cell based.

Yet, in the new generation of in-vitro organ models used to study the effect of drugs and therapies, the lymphatic system and the immune cells they transport are notably absent.

Members of this consortium are already studying the effects of drugs and mechanisms of disease on miniature tissue models of heart, skin and gut but will now develop lymphatic and immune systems from stem cells for each of these since they are essential for maintaining tissue health and can cause disease when they go wrong.

The consortium is formed by hDMT researchers and it is envisaged that Organ-on-Chip models with integrated lymphatics they develop, will provide a precision tool in the battle against immune-related diseases.

The LymphChip consortium will receive a total of almost 5 million Euros from the Dutch Research Agenda Research on Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC) for this purpose. With the contribution from the patient organizations, foundations and companies the total amount comes to 5.6 million Euro.

Envisioned solution

In LymphChip, pioneers of the Organ-on-Chip platform join forces to develop these types of model for the first time. Starting from proven stem cell-derived and primary tissue models of three organ systems (heart, intestine, and skin), they will develop innovative combinations of microengineered biomimetic 3D scaffolds, miniaturized interstitial flow models and on-line sensing, integrating primary and stem cell-derived tissues and corresponding tissue lymphatics. We will thus create powerful models for studying tissue homeostasis via fluid transport (for the heart), small molecule and dietary fat transport (intestine) and immune surveillance (for skin and lymph nodes).

This will provide unprecedented opportunities for studying human disease in which the lymphatic system is defective by providing personalized, patient-specific immune systems in near-native tissue environments with stromal and immune cell components and real-time measures of function.

Our ambition is to provide game-changing technology to address presently intractable conditions of the immune system using three tissues as exemplars that will lead the way towards the identification of novel pathways for these and other organs while reducing animal use.

The LymphChip consortium

The project is led by hDMT PI Dr. Valeria Orlova (coordinator) from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Prof. Christine Mummery (LUMC) and Prof. Sue Gibbs (VUMC). Other hDMT consortium partners include Dr. Hans Bouwmeester (WU), Prof. Reina Mebius (VUMC), Dr. Andries van der Meer (UTwente), Dr. Massimo Mastrangeli (TU Delft), Prof. Roman Truckenmüller (UM/MERLN), Dr. Coen Govers (WR) and Dr. Anne Leferink (UT).

Other consortium partners include IBA Lifesciences GmbH, TissUse GmbH, Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting, Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing, BioEC, Cealus health, IMEC (One Planet), PolyVation, Alveolé, Optics11, hDMT, Ibidi GmbH, AIM Biotech, VSParticle, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Red Cross Hospital Beverwijk, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Maag Lever Darm Stichting, The University of Melbourne, Ncardia, Roche, Danone Nutricia Research.


More news

Helpathon LymphChip

Helpathon LymphChip

March 16, 2023
From May 24-May 26 LymphChip will organize a Helpathon in the O2 Building of VUmc. If you want to help Sue, Margot, Valeria, Jasper and Germaine finding animal-free alternatives for FCS and Matrigel please sign up via this link. All help, both negative and positive results are welcome. For more information please see here.
3rd prize for Theano Tsikaro of LymphChip at hDMT meeting

3rd prize for Theano Tsikari of LymphChip at hDMT meeting

November 25, 2022
The annual meeting of hDMT was held in Amersfoort and attracted may researchers from the organ-on-chip field. As part of the program a PhD student Spotlight competition was organized to give PhD students the opportunity to present their research with a short video.
3rd Technology Seminar on the generation of phenotypic assays

3rd Technology Seminar on the generation of phenotypic assays

November 8, 2022
Sei Hien Lim from AIM Biotech gave a seminar to illustrate the applications of their idenTx and organiX plates in the fields of oncology, immune-oncology, vascular biology and neurobiology.

Autumn Tour LymphChip

October 26, 2022
From September 20 till October 26, in total 18 PhD students, postdocs and technicians of the academic partners of LymphChip joined a tour consisting of site visits to all the academic labs.
Annual Meeting LymphChip

Annual Meeting LymphChip 

October 20, 2022
On October 20-21 the Annual Meeting of LymphChip was hosted by VUMC in Amsterdam. In total 36 members of LymphChip participated representing the academic partners, co-financing partners and the Advisory Board.
2nd Technology Seminar on the use of Primo

2nd Technology Seminar on the use of Primo

June 7, 2022
Hélène Delobel from Alvéole presented a technology seminar on the use of Primo for photopatterning applications with many practical examples as published in the literature. Dhanesh Kasi from LUMC shared his experience with Primo further highlighting the advantage of the use of Primo to prototype chip designs and engineer microvascular networks.
Optics11 Naointender at LUMC

Optics11 Nanoindenter at LUMC

May 5, 2022
We are thrilled with Chiaro Nanoindenter installed in our PRIMO (Alveolé) microfabrication lab at LUMC.  We look forward to exploring the mechanical properties of engineered heart tissues and hydrogels as a part of the LymphChip project.
Screenshot Nostics voor Technol Seminar May 3 2022

1st Technology Seminar on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

May 3, 2022
Vincent Laban, co-founder and CEO of Nostics partner of LymphChip presented a technology seminar on their  Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy technology. This Technology Seminar was the first in a series where the industrial partners of LymphChip present their technology to the members of LymphChip.
News item Bring in the Lymph

Bring in the lymph

April 20, 2022
Valeria Orlova (LUMC), Sue Gibbs (VUMC) and Carine van Schie (DBF) have been interviewed by NWO about the LymphChip project. For more information please read the full article at:
Kick-off Meeting LymphChip

Kick-off Meeting LymphChip

February 21, 2022
February 15, 2022 The Kick-off Meeting was organized in Spatial Chat in view of COVID-19 restrictions. In total 44 members of LymphChip participated representing the academic partners, co-financing partners and the Advisory Board. Plenary sessions were held to present the aims of LymphChip, to learn about the expectations and contributions from co-financing partners and to […]