Welcome to our presentation at the “Lab-on-a-Chip, Microfluidics & Microarrays World Congress” in San Diego / USA.

In the presented work, a candidate 3D in vitro culture, the reconstructed human epidermis (RhE) artificial skin, was integrated with a modified IMOLA-IVD biochip for online monitoring of extracellular acidification. RhE, grown on standard polycarbonate membrane culture inserts, mimic the structure and function of human epidermis. Monitoring the metabolic output of an RhE in real-time can reveal time-resolved data on the toxic effect new compounds have on the epidermis. Automatic screening can also provide a new pathway that can revolutionize the process of testing new chemicals for skin irritancy. For this reason, a protocol for an automated skin corrosion/irritation assay was developed. IMOLA Biochip-D’s were modified to perfuse cell culture inserts with medium while maintaining an air-liquid interface. Metabolic signals were recorded in real-time in an incubator via the IMOLA-IVD system. RhE from CellSystems GmbH (epiCS) on culture inserts were perfused automatically with medium via a peristaltic pump, IMOLA fluidic modules and the DALiA control software. Future work will involve developing this method into a validated irritancy and corrosivity assay following from OECD testing guideline 431 (corrosion) and 439 (irritation), by exposing the epiCS to potentially toxic agents.

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