Infection and Inflammation 3D Tissue Models

Test Bed Vision:

“To develop 3D soft tissue model systems capable of responding to a variety of infection and/or inflammatory challenges”

This project aims to use skin tissue engineering as the basis for the development of an immune-competent in vitro 3D model capable of evaluating a wide range of external challenges. The 3D infection and inflammation skin model would be suitable for the development of new health treatments and could provide valuable insights into the challenges associated with building 3D coculture systems within microfluidic platforms.

The project will initially use tissue engineering knowledge to develop a 3D skin infection model capable of reproducible and scalable use. By integrating this system into a fluidic/imaging platform, we seek to directly monitor the progress of pathogenic bacteria into the wound and the resulting tissue alterations, biofilm formation and biochemical signalling. It will also enable the integration of sensor systems into the device to enable in situ monitoring of inflammatory cytokines and other key biomarkers.

This proposal aligns directly with the call for ex vivo model systems to understand and monitor virus, pathogen or drug interactions. It forms the basis for the development of a range of increasingly complex 3D model systems that, longer term, can be used to develop and test new approaches to medical treatment and as a basis for the evaluation of new implantable biosensors and infection/inflammation detection systems.

This test bed is led by Sally McArthur and integrates with her OCE Science Leader Program in 3D Cell culture systems within the Biomedical Manufacturing Theme in the Manufacturing Business Units at CSIRO. Collaborators include Paul Savage, David Haylock, Veronica Glattauer at CSIRO, Sheila MacNeil at University of Sheffield and Katharina Manuira and Markus Rottmar at Empa, Switzerland.