Study in a Sentence: Researchers created a placenta-on-a-chip model designed to mimic the nutrient exchange between the fetus and mother to model and study the pathological events in placental malaria (PM).
Healthy for Humans: Malaria infections by Plasmodium falciparum, a deadly parasite in humans, can lead to low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, premature birth, or abortion. PM resulting from P. falciparum infections can lead to up to 200,000 newborn deaths and 10,000 mother deaths annually. Animal and in-vitro models have not been sufficient in studying this disease because of important differences in placenta anatomy and complex anatomical design, respectively, so researchers designed a placenta-on-a-chip model precisely to measure nutrient transfer across the placental barrier in PM using a 3-lane OrganoPlate microdevice.
Redefining Research: The 3D microfluidics-based model of the placental barrier measures nutrition exchange and the effects of blood infected with P. falciparum. This model more closely mimics the structure and function of PM and could serve as a potentially valuable model to study PM treatment, other placenta-related diseases, and develop more advanced models.
- Mosavati B, Oleinikov A, Du E. 3D microfluidics-assisted modeling of glucose transport in placental malaria. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):15278. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-19422-y
- 3D microfluidics-assisted modeling of glucose transport in placental malaria | Scientific Reports (nature.com)