In vitro wound healing model of the gut

Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disorder with chronic or relapsing inflammation periods with increasing incidence in Western countries. The etiology is still unknown, but a key feature of IBD is an aberrant immune response against gut microbiota in which both the environment and the genetic background of the host are involved. Intestinal inflammation may promote the formation of wounds in the gut epithelium, which can the induce the exposure of the lamina propria to luminal substances and maintain the inflammatory trigger [1, 2].

Intestinal in vitro models with human cells are currently not studying wound healing in relation with the microbiome [3, 4]. Therefore, this project will develop a complex in vitro model combining intestinal epithelial, goblet and immune-like cells to evaluate the wound healing of the intestine. The use of different extracellular matrices and physiologically relevant oxygen levels will be combined with isolated gut microbiota from healthy donors and IBD patients. Validation steps will be performed to ensure the applicability of the model.

The final goal of the project is to obtain a reproducible and affordable model, which will add a major advantage for better predicting the response of potential therapeutics in a personalized way. The broad applicability of a complex in vitro model can lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD and promote further therapeutic options to improve wound healing and tissue restoration under inflammatory conditions in the gut.