Models of Lymph Node Function in Top-Down and Bottom-Up Organs-on-Chip

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 at 12:00

Add to Calendar ▼2024-06-25 12:00:002024-06-25 13:00:00Europe/LondonModels of Lymph Node Function in Top-Down and Bottom-Up Organs-on-ChipOrganoids and Spheroids Europe 2024 in Rotterdam, The NetherlandsRotterdam, The

Predicting the response of the immune system to a new vaccine, a growing tumor, or neurodegenerative disease remains a grand challenge of biomedical science. Standard models of immunity rely largely on in vivo animal studies that are difficult to control and analyze over time, or simple in vitro cultures of human cells that lack the spatial organization and cell-cell interactions of the body. To enable controlled experiments with spatial structure, our laboratory creates spatially organized models of the lymph node and its connections to other organs. This presentation will describe recent work with two approaches. The first approach is “top down”, in which ex vivo slices of lymph node were used to model early responses to vaccination and tumor metastasis. In some cases, we integrated the lymph node slices into user-friendly microfluidic devices to provide environmental control and connectivity.  The second approach is “bottom up,” in which primary human white blood cells were incorporated into a spatially structured organ-on-chip to model the interactions between T cells and B cells that lead to antibody production.  We anticipate that these models of the lymph node are poised for future integration with additional organs and microphysiological systems, and for expansion to reflect the full diversity of the human population.

Rebecca Pompano, Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Rebecca Pompano

Dr. Rebecca Pompano is an Associate Professor and Shannon Center Mid-Career Fellow at the University of Virginia, in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering. She completed a BS in Chemistry at the University of Richmond in 2005 and a PhD at the University of Chicago in 2011. Dr. Pompano's laboratory has developed innovative approaches to model lymph node function in vitro, including in ex vivo tissue slices and microphysiological models, as well as 3D printing strategies and bioanalytical methods for culture and analysis of organized cells and tissues. She is currently a Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Inventor Fellow. Dr. Pompano is a leader in the Immunoengineering and bioanalytical communities, having co-chaired the inaugural Gordon Research Conference for Immunoengineering in 2022 and the 2023 International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society, which organizes the MicroTAS conference. As a faculty member, she is active in student-centered teaching methods and in efforts to make the scientific community welcoming and inclusive for all students and researchers. Additional information about her research group and their work is available at