Microfluidic System for In Vivo-Like Drug Permeation Studies with Dynamic Dilution Profiles
Automated biomimetic systems for the preclinical testing of drugs are of great interest. Here, an in vitro testing platform for in vivo adapted drug absorption studies is presented. It has been designed with a focus on easy handling and the usability of established cell cultivation techniques in standard well plate inserts. The platform consists of a microfluidic device, which accommodates a well plate insert with pre-cultivated cells, and provides a fluid flow with dynamic drug dilution profiles. A low-cost single-board computer with a touchscreen was used as a control unit. This provides a graphical user interface, controls the syringe pump flow rates, and records the transepithelial electrical resistance. It thereby enables automated parallel testing in multiple devices at the same time. To demonstrate functionality, an MDCK cell layer was used as a model for an epithelial barrier for drug permeation testing. This confirms the possibility of performing absorption studies on barrier tissues under conditions close to those in vivo. Therefore, a further reduction in animal experiments can be expected.