Multiorgan-on-a-chip in vitro modelling for health: the challenge of brain disorders

Organ-on-a-chip devices are innovative frontier tools with a high applicative potential in biomedical engineering and medicine. The organs that make up the human body are not independent and isolated systems but they are deeply interconnected. This complexity can be modelled in vitro by the so called multiorgan-on-a-chip platforms. One interesting frontier research topic in brain disease investigation relies on the existence of a bidirectional communication, referred to as the microbiota-gut-brain axis, between our intestinal microflora, collectively named gut “microbiota”, and the brain. This intriguing connection is supported by many insights but the biochemical mechanisms involved are quite far to be fully elucidated. The talk will describe some example of organ-on-a-chips to model the main players of the microbiota-gut-brain axis and will discuss the challenges that a multiorgan-on-a-chip in vitro modelling approach needs to face in order to investigate brain disease mechanisms.