The human-on-chip technology provides an efficient basis for preclinical studies and has potentially a greater predictive power for human drug response than classical 2D cell culture. Here we report the expression profile of druggable genes in the human colon cancer cells CaCo2 in static culture and within a microfluidic chip. We identified gene expression pattern under flow to be closer to the one of CaCo2 primary xenograft tumours as compared to those cells grown without circulation. The obtained results indicate that a microenvironment connected to a circulation within a chip brings the cells closer to in vivo situation. Hence the human-on-chip technology is a more powerful tool for drug development than conventional 2D cell culture.
A cancer cell line originating from human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2 cells) serves as a high capacity model for a preclinical screening of drugs. Recent need for incorporating barrier tissue into multi-organ chips calls for inclusion of Caco-2 cells into microperfused environment. This article describes a series of systems biology insights obtained from comparing Caco-2 models cells grown as conventional 2D layer and in a microfluidic chip. When basic electrical parameters of Caco-2 monolayers were evaluated using impedance spectrometry and MTT assays, no differences were noted. On the other hand, the microarray profiling of mRNAs and miRNAs revealed that grows on a microfluidic chip leads to the change in the production of specific miRNA, which regulate a set of genes for cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), and provide for more complete differentiation of Caco-2 monolayer. Moreover, the sets of miRNAs secreted at the apical surface of Caco-2 monolayers grown in conventional 2D culture and in microfluidic device differ. When integrated into a multi-tissue platform, Caco-2 cells may aid in generating insights into complex pathophysiological processes, not possible to dissect in conventional cultures.