Mark Donowitz and Nicholas Zachos of Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. will develop human epithelial cell cultures that mimic the human intestine as a model for acute diarrhea, which is the second leading cause of death worldwide. They will culture the cells as polarized monolayers, which can be infected with disease- causing pathogens, and use them to measure the effect on NaCl absorption, which is blocked in almost all diarrheal diseases. They will also upgrade their model to mimic the mechanical forces experienced by the human intestine during the passage of food. Once validated, this model could be used to test new drugs for treating acute diarrhea.
More information about Novel Enabling Tools and Models Supporting Development of Interventions for Enteric Dysfunction (Round 12)