OUR ORGAN MODELS

uHeart

uheart-symbol

uHeart is a miniaturized model of a functional and beating human heart on a chip developed within uBeat® Stretch. Thanks to uBeat®, a mechanical training phase resembling the heart beating is applied to human cardiac cells cultured in 3D. Within few days, the generation of a mature human cardiac tissue, spontaneously and synchronously beating is achieved.

uHeart can provide measurement of the key function of the heart to understand changes in heart beating rate, structural toxicity and electrical activities.

uHeart is indeed able to respond to drugs in a dose-dependent fashion, as close as the human heart would do, resulting the ideal platform to screen drug cardiotoxicity and anti-arrhythmic drug efficiency .

3D cardiac microtissue is generated within uBeat™ stretch
uBeat® mechanical training induces a synchronous beating in the whole microtissue

By culturing cardiomyocytes with supportive fibroblasts for 7 days within uBeat® Stretch, a cardiac microtissue exhibiting cells with elongated morphology and typical sarcomeric striations (cardiac Troponin I staining) is obtained. 

uBeat® mechanical training induces a synchronous beating in the whole microtissue

uBeat® mechanical training resembling the heart-like physiological stretching (i.e. 10%) results essential to obtain a cardiac tissue reaching an unprecedented level of maturation and functionality.

uECG allows the on-line monitoring of the cardiac electrophysiological parameters

Thanks to uECG, the measurement of electrophysiological parameters characterizing the cultured cardiac microtissue is monitored on-line in a non-invasive manner. uBeat® stretch integrated with uECG offers a unique tool to capture the effect of drugs on cardiac electrical . 

uKnee

uknee-symbol

uKnee is the first in vitro miniaturized model of a human osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage on chip, developed within uBeat® Compress. Healthy cartilage microconstructs are first generated from human articular chondrocytes embedded in an hydrogel and cultured in static condition for two weeks within uBeat® Compress. Thanks to BiomimX®  technology uBeat®, a mechanical overload resembling the OA pathological conditions is then applied to the healthy cartilage microtissues. uBeat® pathological stimulation leads within few days to the generation of OA-like microtissues with a phenotype and genotype correlating with OA clinical evidences.

uKnee provides measurement of the key indicators of OA, including anabolic-catabolic balance changes, occurrence of inflammation, production of matrix degrading enzymes and changes in key molecular pathways.

Animal models and alternative in vitro platforms are unable to mimic the human pathology to this extent. uKnee can thus be used to test the efficiency of potential new anti-OA candidates to reverse the pathology, being the first in vitro platform able to replicate OA disease.

healthy-human-cartilage-model-generated-inside-ubeat-platform
A healthy human cartilage microtissue is generated within uBeat® Compress

By culturing human healthy articular chondrocytes in static condition for two weeks within uBeat® Compress, a cartilage microtissue is obtained exhibiting a native-like deposition of extracellular matrix (abundant in collagen type-II and aggrecan) and a characteristic gene profile matching those of human cartilage.

OA-catabolic-anabolic-balance-induced-by-uknee
uBeat® mechanical overload induces an OA-like anabolic-catabolic balance change

uBeat® pathological stimulation induces a shift in cartilage homeostasis towards catabolism as evidenced by loss of expression of anabolic genes (COL2A1 and ACAN), increased production of MMP13 cartilage degrading enzymes and up-regulation of inflammation related genes (IL6 and IL8).

OA-gene-profile-uknee
uBeat® induces an OA-like gene profile

uBeat® pathological stimulation triggers the acquisition of a gene expression profile compatible with clinical evidences of OA. COL10A1 and IHH expression was upregulated, suggesting the triggering of a hypertrophic differentiation of the model towards transient calcified cartilage. GREM1, FRZB and DKK1 (BMP and Wnt signalling antagonists inversely correlated with OA onset) are downregulated upon uBeat® pathological stimulation, with levels matching those detected in native OA cartilage samples

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