Thursday, 15 June 2023 09:54

Saarland: Innovative lung infection model with biofilm Featured

Researchers at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), headed by Prof. Dr. Claus-Michael Lehr, have developed a novel method to specifically place biofilms on lung cells in the laboratory. The model system produced by means of "bioprinting" should help to better understand infection processes and assist in the research of new active substances.

Some bacterial pathogens form so-called biofilms as part of infection processes in order to protect themselves from drugs or human immune cells. In the case of biofilm-associated infections, model systems are very complex because the biofilm, in addition to human cells and the pathogens, is a third component that has to be reproduced as realistically as possible.

In this process, the bacterial cells, including biofilm, are deposited on a layer of lung epithelial cells by a special 3D printer. "The development of a biofilm infection model is not trivial, as the rapid growth of the bacteria and the release of toxins can easily lead to premature death of the lung cells," Prof. Lehr said in a recent press release.

Among other things, the development can be used as a disease model for studying chronic infectious diseases.

The researchers have published their results in the journal Biofabrication.
Aliyazdi S., Frisch S., Hidalgo A., Frank N., Krug D., Müller R., Schaefer U.F., Vogt T., Loretz B. & Lehr C.-M. 3D Bioprinting of E. coli MG1655 Biofilms on Human Lung Epithelial Cells for Building Complex In Vitro Infection Models. Biofabrication, 2023. DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/acd95e.

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