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Recording Gut Dysfunction with Bacterial Sentinels

Scott Jordan Kerns of Harvard Medical School in the U.S. will develop a cell-based model of environmental enteric dysfunction, which causes substantial morbidity and mortality in developing countries. As a living model of the human intestine, he will use a gut-on-a-chip device composed of two microfluidic channels enclosing gut cells growing on a flexible membrane, which is coated with extracellular matrix proteins and other cell types. He will treat the gut-on-a-chip with factors that cause environmental enteric dysfunction, such as pathogenic bacteria, and monitor gut-related functions including nutrient absorption. A validated model could then be used to screen for new treatments. He will also engineer non-pathogenic bacteria as potential early-stage diagnostics and test their ability to sense environmental enteric dysfunction in his model.

More information about Novel Enabling Tools and Models Supporting Development of Interventions for Enteric Dysfunction (Round 12)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.