Development of a Pumpless Microfluidic System to Study the Interaction between Gut Microbes and Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Seung Yeon Lee, Hyun Jae Byun, Heelak Choi, Jong In Won, Jeonghun Han, Sungsu Park, Donghyun Kim, Jong Hwan Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Gut microbiota dysbiosis and intestinal epithelial cell barrier dysfunction are associated with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and type 2 diabetes. To study the interaction of gut microbes and intestinal epithelial cells, in vitro model systems for co-culturing intestinal cells and gut microbes are essential. Since most gut microorganisms are anaerobic bacteria, it is difficult to co-culture microbes with intestinal epithelial cells that require oxygen during culture. We have developed a novel gut microbialepithelial cell (GMEC) co-culture system, a microfluidic chip in an anaerobic chamber with oxygen gradient within the chip. Appropriate co-culture flow rates were determined based on the experimental observation as well as fluid dynamics and molecular transport simulations. Using GMEC system, Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus plantarum were co-cultured with gut epithelial cell line, Caco-2. We expect that our GMEC co-culture system can potentially be a useful platform for studying the interaction between intestinal epithelial cells and gut microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea, under Grant (Basic Research Lab, 2019R1A4A 1025958 and 2022R1A4A2000748), and by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE), Republic of Korea, under the Technology Innovation Program, Grant 20008413 and 20008414, Hongik University Research Fund, and 2021 Hongik University Innovation Support Program Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a Pumpless Microfluidic System to Study the Interaction between Gut Microbes and Intestinal Epithelial Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this