An in vitro model of foam cell formation induced by a stretchable microfluidic device.
Authors of this article are:
Gu X, Xie S, Hong D, Ding Y.
A summary of the article is shown below:
Although a variety of animal models of atherosclerosis have been developed, these models are time-consuming and costly. Here, we describe an in vitro model to induce foam cell formation in the early stage of atherosclerosis. This model is based on a three-dimension co-culture system in a stretchable microfluidic device. An elastic membrane embedded in the microfluidic device is capable of delivering nonuniform strain to vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells and monocytes adhering thereto, which are intended to mimic the biological environment of blood vessels. Under low-density lipoprotein and stretch treatment, foam cell formation was successfully induced in co-culture with changes in mRNA and protein expression of some related key factors. Subsequently, the model was used to assess the inhibitory effect of atorvastatin on foam cell formation. The results obtained indicate that atorvastatin has a significantly dose-dependent inhibition of foam cell formation, which can be explained by the changes in mRNA and protein expression of the related factors. In principle, the model can be used to study the role of different types of cells in the formation of foam cells, as well as the evaluation of anti-atherosclerotic drugs.
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