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Microfluidic Coculture Device for Monitoring of Inflammation-Induced Myocardial Injury Dynamics

Ai, Xiaoni, Lu, Wenbo, Zeng, Kewu, Li, Chun, Jiang, Yong, Tu, Pengfei
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.7 pp. 4485-4494
anti-inflammatory agents, apoptosis, cardiomyocytes, cardioprotective effect, caspase-3, coculture, cytokines, inflammation, macrophages, mitochondrial membrane, models, monitoring, myocardial infarction, quercetin, screening, transcription factor NF-kappa B, transportation
Emerging awareness of cardiac macrophages’ role in inflammation after myocardial infarction indicates that overabundant proinflammatory macrophages induce accentuated myocardial injury. The investigation of the macrophages–cardiomyocytes interaction and inflammation-induced dynamic damage in myocardial infarction, especially in a spatiotemporally controlled manner, remains a huge challenge. Here, we developed an in vitro model using a microfluidic coculture system to mimic inflammatory cardiac injury. To our knowledge, on-chip pathological models focused on inflammation-induced myocardial injury have not been reported. The device consists of two sets of thin interconnecting grooves that isolate heterogeneous cells spatially but maintain their soluble factors communication. The mass transportation is visually characterized, and the complete diffusion reaches equilibrium within 100 s. We investigate the dynamic interaction between the macrophages and the cardiomyocytes in the spatiotemporal controlled microenvironment, mimicking a key aspect of the in vivo pathophysiological process. The results show that the activated macrophages induce time-lapsed apoptotic responses of the cardiac cells and damage mitochondria membrane integrity. The anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective effects of quercetin were explored on the chip. The extent of caspase-3 activation is asynchronous in the individual cardiac cells, suggesting the different apoptosis dynamics. We further demonstrate that the mechanism of activated inflammation is associated with the upregulation of several inflammatory cytokines and NF-κB pathway. Thus, the developed microfluidic coculture device provides a useful tool for real-time monitoring of inflammatory response for myocardial disease and holds potential for anti-inflammatory drug screening.