Emulate Launches Colon Intestine-Chip to Advance Research of Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases

Physiologically relevant model of the human colon will aid development of treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, celiac disease, and more

Emulate, Inc., a leading provider of advanced in vitro models, today launched the Emulate Colon Intestine-Chip for researchers investigating inflammatory intestinal diseases. The complete, lab-ready Human Emulation System and the Emulate Colon Intestine-Chip will allow researchers to recapitulate specific human colon cell functionality, gain a greater understanding of mechanisms of inflammation, and investigate potential drug targets. The comprehensive model will also accelerate identification of drug candidates to prevent inflammatory damage that are more likely to translate to the clinic. The company plans to continue developing further applications for the Colon Intestine-Chip, enabling researchers to better study immune cell recruitment and how the gut microbiome affects the epithelial barrier.

As many as one in three Americans aged 65 years or older suffer from gastrointestinal diseases that significantly impact quality of life. Despite decades of research with animal models and traditional cell culture approaches, there remains a lack of human-relevant models for gastrointestinal disease that translate to clinical trials. Effective therapies for intestinal inflammation remain an unmet need due to an incomplete understanding of the physiology and disease processes of the gastrointestinal tract.

“The intestinal barrier is critical to human health,”

said Lorna Ewart, EVP, Science of Emulate.

“Barrier disruption by inflammation has been implicated in several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. For researchers seeking a more predictive model of the human colon, the Emulate Colon Intestine-Chip offers a high-fidelity model to study the mechanisms of epithelial barrier regulation and investigate the efficacy of therapeutics.”

This new Organ-Chip model incorporates human colonic organoids and supportive colonic endothelial cells in a dynamic microenvironment that simulates mechanical forces of the intestine, resulting in a three-dimensional model of the colonic epithelial-endothelial interface with physiological functionality and improved gene expression. The unique co-culture of cells in the Organ-Chip enables formation of a tight epithelial barrier with low permeability, highly polarized cells, and a mature brush border. The model responds to inflammatory stimuli in a concentration, time, and donor-dependent manner, allowing researchers to study mechanisms of cytokine-mediated inflammation and therapeutic efficacy.

The Emulate Colon Intestine-Chip is currently available as an enabled product, with customer-provided cells. Later this year, researchers will have access to Services and a Bio-Kit with pre-qualified cells.