The Centre houses Emulate’s platform, a suite of multiple Human Emulation Systems suitable for running up to 96 separate Organ-Chips in parallel. The Human Emulation System is an integrated platform that combines biology (Organ-Chip), instrumentation, and software apps. By taking an integrated approach, this system empowers users to apply this platform in a way that is both robust and reproducible. It allows researchers to predict human responses with greater precision and control.
Emulate's organ-chip, the Chip-S1® can be configured to recreate a wide range of different organ tissues and disease models. This organ-chip recreates the body’s dynamic cellular microenvironment, including tissue-to-tissue interfaces, blood flow, immune cell interactions, and mechanical forces. Emulate have designed protocols for their supported organ models which include: Liver, Proximal Tubule Kidney, Lung and Intestine all of which use this platform.
Each Chip-S1® comprises a top and bottom channel separated by a porous membrane that allows for cell-cell interaction like those that are seen in vivo. These two channels are fluidically independent. To generate the different models each channel is coated with organ- and cell-specific extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). The larger top channel can then be seeded with epithelial cells or cells of your choosing in 2D and 3D configurations. The smaller bottom channel is typically seeded with endothelial cells to represent vascular interaction, however it too can be seeded with other cell types or left empty as required.
Thus this system provides a robust, well characterised and reliable platform on which to develop new organ models of the researchers choosing.
This video shows the basic structure of the Emulate chip with the two microfluidic channels enabling cell-cell communication and migration across the porous membrane with simultaneous physiological biomechanical stimulation.
The Zoë™ Culture Module is designed to sustain the life of cells within Emulate’s Organ-Chips. It provides the dynamic flow of media and the mechanical forces that help recreate the microenvironment cells experience in vivo. The instrument automates the precise conditions needed for simultaneous cell culture of up to 12 Organ-Chips. Zoë enables independent control of the flow rate of media through the top and bottom channels of the Organ-Chips, as well as stretch parameters — including frequency and amplitude — of the Organ-Chip. Additionally, Zoë has automated algorithms to prime the fluidic channels of Pods with media, and programming to maintain the culture microenvironment for optimal cell performance.
The Orb™ Hub Module is a central hub that connects to up to four Zoë™ Culture Modules. It provides a simple solution for installing and operating the Human Emulation System® within the lab environment. The Orb delivers a mix of 5% CO2, vacuum stretch, and power from standard lab connections. It generates a 5% CO2 supply gas to Zoë by combining air with an external 100% carbon dioxide supply (or from a portable CO2 canister for increased flexibility) in a controlled mixture. Orb also generates the vacuum required to apply Organ-Chip stretching (-70 kPa) and contains four individual power ports.
The Pod™ Portable Module houses the chip, supplies media, and enables compatibility with microscopes and other analysis equipment. The Pod, which has a height of 41.5 mm, is designed to allow Organ-Chips to be easily transported and placed on standard microscopes for imaging. It also allows simple portability of Organ-Chips between our hardware and other analysis equipment. The Pod's reservoirs allow users to introduce nutrient media or blood, precisely control dosing to test drugs or other inputs, and sample chip effluent. Each Pod reservoir holds up to 4 mL.
We provide our users with an application to help plan, execute, and manage experiments with our system.
- Learn more about the Human Emulation System: https://vimeo.com/208765699