Wageningen University & Research together with the University of Twente have received a grant to conduct a multidisciplinary research project to develop an ‘intestine-on-a-chip’. This pioneering project will allow us to peer into the interactions between various substances in human intestines, in the hopes of mapping the functions of those substances. We still largely rely on animal testing for such research, however, intestine-on-a-chip promises to help reduce the prevalence of animal testing.
Intestinal bacteria and immune cells
The Wageningen and Twente researchers will develop an innovative intestine-on-a-chip with its own intestinal bacteria and immune cells. It seeks to simulate all aspects of a real intestine. They will then analyse the interactions between substances, food contents, microorganisms, intestinal cells and their effects on the immune system. This will allow the researchers to accurately map the effects of various substances, whether they be positive or negative.
The grant is part of the research programme ‘Building Blocks of Life’ and is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).