Marianne Vormann about her kidney-on-a-chip research
"Always looking for new ways to mimic human tissues even closer"
Marianne started working on the development of kidney-on-a-chip models shortly after MIMETAS had been founded. Her research focusses on the proximal tubule, a region of the kidney involved in absorption and secretion of compounds. Many medicines that cause kidney damage, have their effect on the proximal tubule.
“What’s really cool about the proximal tubule model in the OrganoPlate® is that I can access the tubules from the apical and basolateral sides separately”, Marianne explains, “This allows me to study tissue properties based on the molecules that cells secrete and transport. I can also use different apical and basal culture media. In this way, I can optimize the tissue microenvironment to resemble the in vivo situation.”
Marianne considers her research a one-of-a-kind job: “As a researcher at MIMETAS, I’m constantly at the forefront of today’s tissue-modeling capabilities. I can spearhead this field that develops faster than you can imagine. Most things we’re doing at MIMETAS are not yet possible anywhere else. It’s exciting to always look for new ways to mimic human tissues even closer.”
“I hope that my research contributes to better drug safety predictions, while reducing the number of laboratory animals needed. Once my kidney model is finished, it would be great to combine it with other tissue models, ultimately maybe even in a body-on-a-chip. In this way, we can study systemic effects and for example effects of drug-metabolites. My dream is that my human tissue models will ultimately lead to safer and more affordable medicines.”