Polylactic acid, a sustainable, biocompatible, transparent substrate material for Organ-On-Chip, and Microfluidic applications
|Authors||Alfredo E. Ongaro, Davide Di Giuseppe, Ali Kermanizadeh, Allende Miguelez Crespo, Arianna Mencatti, Lina Ghibelli, Vanessa Mancini, Krystian L. Wlodarczyk, Duncan P. Hand, Eugenio Martinelli, Vicki Stone, Nicola Howarth, Vincenzo La Carrubba, Virginia Pensabene and Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas|
Organ-on-chips are miniaturised devices aiming at replacing animal models for drug discovery, toxicology and studies of complex biological phenomena. The field of Organ-On-Chip has grown exponentially, and has led to the formation of companies providing commercial Organ-On-Chip devices. Yet, it may be surprising to learn that the majority of these commercial devices are made from Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a silicone elastomer that is widely used in microfluidic prototyping, but which has been proven difficult to use in industrial settings and poses a number of challenges to experimentalists, including leaching of uncured oligomers and uncontrolled adsorption of small compounds. To alleviate these problems, we propose a new substrate for organ-on-chip devices: Polylactic Acid (PLA). PLA is a material derived from renewable resources, and compatible with high volume production technologies, such as microinjection moulding. PLA can be formed into sheets and prototyped into desired devices in the research lab. In this article we uncover the suitability of Polylactic acid as a substrate material for Microfluidic cell culture and Organ-on-a-chip applications. Surface properties, biocompatibility, small molecule adsorption and optical properties of PLA are investigated and compared with PDMS and other reference polymers.
Significance Organ-On-Chip (OOC) technology is a powerful and emerging tool that allows the culture of cells constituting an organ and enables scientists, researchers and clinicians to conduct more physiologically relevant experiments without using expensive animal models. Since the emergence of the first OOC devices 10 years ago, the translation from research to market has happened relatively fast. To date, at least 28 companies are proposing body and tissue on-a chip devices. The material of choice in most commercial organ-on-chip platforms is an elastomer, Polydymethyloxane (PDMS), commonly used in microfluidic R&D. PDMS is however subject to poor reproducibility, and absorbs small molecule compounds unless treated. In this study we show that PLA overcomes all the drawbacks related to PDMS: PLA can be prototyped in less than 45 minutes from design to test, is transparent, not autofluorescent, and biocompatible. PLA-based microfluidic platforms have the potential to transform the OOC industry as well as to provide a sustainable alternative for future Lab-On-Chip and point-of-care devices.
|Keywords||OOC; PLA; Organ-on-chips|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1101/647347|
|Web address (URL)||https://doi.org/10.1101/647347|
|Publication dates||23 May 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||12 Jun 2023|
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