In recent years, our laboratory has developed technology to build lung-on-a-chip with the aim of creating alternatives for animal research and achieving more accurate and reliable preclinical experimental data. At this stage, two robust and reliable dynamic lung chip-culture systems have been established. One is a two-layer channel platform, another one is a continuous perfusion platform without pumps and tubing. This system possesses the advantages of in vitro analysis of the tissue function and the biochemical, genetic, hereditary, and metabolic activity of cells in the organ microenvironment. It has the future aim of truly becoming a complete replacement for animal experiments.
Currently, we use this systems for a detailed health evaluation of fine aerosols and the development of a platform for a complete air-pollution health-evaluation model. Such systems will replace animal-based studies and provide a database of toxicological and exposure assessments and dose-response curves for corresponding pollutants, with a focus on lung health and risk assessment. We will use these novel bionic platforms to investigate the health problems caused by fine aerosols in the human respiratory system, e.g., inflammatory reactions, damage to barrier functions, penetration of particulates, and injury to gas exchange.