Customers speak: Laura Perin and Stefano Da Sacco | Mimetas

Customers speak: Laura Perin and Stefano Da Sacco

Customers speak: Laura Perin and Stefano Da Sacco

Laura Perin, PhD and Stefano da Sacco, PhD are assistant professors at the University of Southern California and happy users of Mimetas' OrganoPlates®.

In this short interview, you will learn why they routinely uses the OrganoPlate® in their lab and how this made their research even more successful.

Stefano da Sacco
Laura Perin

What does the OrganoPlate help you do?

One of the biggest challenges in studying glomerular cell biology in vitro is the lack of a system that fully recapitulates the complex architecture of the glomerular filtration barrier.
The OrganoPlates allow us to recreate a system that we believe mimics pretty closely the filtration barrier and allows a spatial disposition of the cells in a way that is closer to the in vivo architecture.
Specifically, the OrganoPlates allows the seeding of the podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells (the key cells forming the filtration barrier) in close proximity without the use of any artificial membrane.

How did the OrganoPlate transform the work you do?

It changed the way we look at the glomerular cells in vitro. Before the OrganoPlates, we were studying each glomerular cell on its own.
Once we had access to the OrganoPlates, we felt that our understanding of the glomerular filtration barrier was more complete. We could study not only podocytes or endothelial cells, but also focus on the influence of one cell type on the other thus mimicking the in vivo situation.
We can say that the OrganoPlates projected us toward a better understanding of the filtration barrier and opened avenues that were before considered unreachable.

Was it difficult adjusting to using the OrganoPlate? Was it easy to implement the OrganoPlate in your workflow?

Once we understood how to perform handling and seeding, it is very easy to use the OrganoPlate. We have already trained several people in the lab in their use and everybody has been pretty successful in handling the plates within 1-2 weeks.

When you opted to use the OrganoPlate, what were you exactly looking for? What is the biggest strength advantage of the OrganoPlate for your application?

In vivo, there is nothing separating the endothelium and the podocyte layers, aside from a thin membrane (the glomerular basement membrane) that is assembled and secreted by both cells. There is extensive cross-talk between the two cellular layers, mediated both by cell-matrix signalling and paracrine communication.
Current microfluidic glomerular chips are based on the standard concept of seeding endothelial cells and podocytes on the opposite side of a membrane, that usually is porous and PDMS-based and the presence of this artificial membrane doesn’t allow for a full interaction between the two monolayers of cells.
The OrganoPlates allowed designing a system in which the two cells are back-to-back, significantly improving the outcome in mimicking the filtration barrier.

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