Skip to main content

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.

Source: NWOLUMC

More news

Kick-off Immuno-Gut (spin-off LymphChip Helpathon)

March 30, 2024
The kick-off meeting of Immuno-Gut took place on March 28, 2024 at the Mirai House home of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology of LUMC. This project is financed with a phase 1 Create2Solve grant from ZonMw and aims at the optimization and standardization of methods to produce serum and Matrigel free iPSC derived immune […]
Hans van der Aa, COO of PolyVation, gave a technology seminar in which he presented the capabilities of PolyVation and the various applications of their custom-made polymers. Depending on the need of the customer, the properties of the polymers can be tweaked to control for instance the physical and biological properties of the materials. Application areas of these polymers include medical devices, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Within LymphChip, the PolyVation polymers are used for the biofabrication of biomimetic 3D microscaffolds for advanced skin and gut-on-chip models with integrated lymphatics and immune cells

Technology Seminar on custom-made specialty polymers

March 26, 2024
Hans van der Aa, COO of PolyVation, gave a technology seminar in which he presented the capabilities of PolyVation and the various applications of their custom-made polymers. Depending on the need of the customer, the properties of the polymers can be tweaked to control for instance the physical and biological properties of the materials. Application […]
Nikon Imaging Course

Nikon Imaging Course

March 19, 2024
On March 19 and 20, 2024 five PhD students attended an Organ-on-Chip imaging course designed to deepen their understanding of intricate 3D imaging and analysis techniques. This course was organized by the Nikon BioImaging Lab in Leiden. In preparation for this two-day course an online technical seminar was held in which the imaging possibilities were […]
Lifetime achievement award Sue Gibbs

Lifetime achievement award Sue Gibbs

December 12, 2023
Once every ten years the Willy van Heumen lifetime achievement award is presented to a researcher with a special track record in research to Replace, Reduce and Refine animal studies. On December 12, 2023 Sue Gibbs was awarded with this price for her scientific contribution to reduce the use of animals for experiments, to educate […]
Create2Solve grant

Create2Solve grant 

December 6, 2023
In May 2023, LymphChip organized Helpathon #8 asking help to find animal-free alternatives for serum and Matrigel. As a direct result of this Helpathon, an application was submitted to the Create2Solve Phase 1 call of ZonMw to optimize and standardize methods to produce serum and Matrigel free iPSC derived immune competent intestine: Immuno-Gut. Immuno-Gut got […]

Monitoring organs-on-chip: a story by Massimo Mastrangeli

December 5, 2023
This year Massimo Mastrangeli was appointed as Associate Professor at TU Delft. In his research he exploits his knowledge on microelectronics to create a home for human cells outside the human body. With a combination of soft and hard materials an environment is created to host cells or tissues, the chip. Stimulation of these cells […]

2nd Annual Meeting LymphChip

November 1, 2023
On October 30-31 the second Annual Meeting of LymphChp was hosted by VUMC in Amsterdam. In total 39 members of LymphChip attended the program representing the academic partners, co-financing partners and the Advisory Board. The first day consisted of news updates on behalf of all the work packages. Most attendees joined for dinner that evening. […]
First research paper LymphChip published

First research paper LymphChip published

July 17, 2023
Ulgu Arslan, Christine Mummery, Valeria Orlova and co-authors have published the first research paper of LymphChip entitled “Vascularized hiPSC-derived 3D cardiac microtissue on chip”. The paper has been published in Stem Cell Reports and is publicly available. This paper was also featured on the cover of the July 11, 2023 issue. Please find the publication […]

Pratik Tawade is selected for the 72nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in Physiology and Medicine. 

April 14, 2023
The KNAW has nominated Pratik Tawade as a young scientist to participate in the 72nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in Physiology and Medicine. This meeting will occur from 25-30 June 2023 in Lindau, Germany.  Since its foundation in 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have developed into a unique international scientific forum. The annual meetings […]
Helpathon LymphChip

Helpathon LymphChip

March 16, 2023
From May 22-24 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.