Within the kidney, the glomerulus is the structure in charge of the renal ultrafiltration. Loss of glomerular function leads to renal damage and could end with irreversible damage. The major roadblocks to advancing new drugs and therapeutics designed specifically to preserve glomerular function stem from the inability to effectively develop multicellular in vitro models that can accurately mimic the architecture of the glomerular filtration barrier. We have recently developed a barrier-free, human based glomerulus-on-a-chip system that closely replicates the glomerular filtration barrier and its functions. In this session we will present our platform and discuss our newer insights on modeling of various diseases including membranous nephropathy, Alport Syndrome and diabetic nephropathy as well as describe potential applications ranging from mechanistic studies, biomarker discovery and personalized medicine.
1. Appreciate the complexity of the glomerular filtration barrier and the difficulty of establishing faithful and functional in vitro models
2. Classify the emerging role of microfluidic systems to study the pathophysiology of human renal diseases
3. Recognize the potential of the glomerulus-on-a-chip to enable studies on how different factors might affect response to injury in podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells.