Seth Walk of Montana State University in the U.S. will develop an in vitro model system composed of three dimensional intestinal tissue (organoids) and microfluidics to quantitate the effect of diarrhea-causing bacteria on intestinal function. They have already grown stable multicellular intestinal organoids displaying typical intestinal structures and function from human intestinal stem cells. Now, they will incorporate fluidics to represent flow inside the gastrointestinal tract to more closely mimic gut physiology in vivo. By introducing pathogenic bacteria, they can quantify their effects on intestinal functions, such as water secretion, which is altered during secretory diarrhea. This model will enable future work focusing on the effects of more complex non-pathogenic microbial populations present naturally in the human gut, which are thought to play an important role in gut health and function.
More information about Novel Enabling Tools and Models Supporting Development of Interventions for Enteric Dysfunction (Round 12)