Yukiko Matsunaga and Fabrice Soncin have developed a human microvessel-on-a-chip that allows to study pro- and anti-angiogenic effects of drugs, and their influence on vascular permeability. This model relies on the establishment of an initial vessel within a collagen-containing matrix, from which angiogenic sprouts will be induced by stimulation of VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 pathway. As in vivo, this phenomenon is dependent on Notch signalling. As a proof-of-concept, sorafenib and sunitinib effectively showed anti-angiogenic effects upon VEGF-A stimulation. In its current state, this interesting model is not adapted to high-throughput screening… but it might be the case in the next future! HCS pharma and Fabrice Soncin are seeking to collaborate to increase its throughput, improve the properties of the matrix and allow electrical resistance measurement. A grant has been requested to recruit a PhD student to work on this exciting project!


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