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Project title: Developing a first-in-class vascularized Gut-Brain-Axis-on-chip platform for accelerating research and drug discovery (GBA-CONNECT)

Project No.: ES RTD/2024/10

Period: 1st April 2024 – 31th March 2026

Project costs: 200 000,00 EUR

Principal Investigator in BMC: Dr.biol. Artūrs Ābols

Coordinator: Cellboxlab

Cooperation partners: KTH Royal Institute of Technolgy, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (BMC), Teadusmosaiik OÜ, Fewer Moving Parts Ltd

Project summary:

The primary objective of this project is to develop a first-in-class vascularized Gut-Brain-Axis (GBA) on chip platform. This innovative platform will feature two main components: (1) a GBA model utilizing our proprietary chips designed for cutting-edge research and drug discovery, and (2) a next-generation hardware instrument tailored for automated organ-on-chip culturing, monitoring, and analysis. Our approach will leverage the consortium’s expertise and pre-existing technology in organ-on-chip models. The GBA model will build on our successful gut-on-chip model, which includes co-cultured anaerobic microbiota and sophisticated in vitro blood-brain barriers. The second-generation hardware will be enhanced with special dedicated pumps and manifold systems, essential for the automated culturing of the GBA model and integration of additional multi-organ-on-chip models. This GBA on chip platform addresses a critical gap in medical research and drug discovery. Understanding the Gut-Brain-Axis is essential for developing new therapeutic strategies for neurological conditions, ranging from nutraceuticals to living therapeutics. The platform facilitates the study of drug absorption in the gut, crossing of the blood-brain barrier, and the assessment of drug toxicity. Current solutions in the market do not meet the necessary criteria for comprehensive GBA studies, which makes our innovative platform a crucial development in the field. By providing a reliable and automated platform to study the GBA, this project has the potential to significantly advance research in neurology and gastroenterology. It will enable researchers and pharmaceutical companies to discover and evaluate new drugs more efficiently and with greater precision, leading to improved treatment options for a variety of neurological and mental health conditions.

Information published 02.04.2024.