Amnion membrane organ-on-chip: an innovative approach to study cellular interactions

Lauren Richardson, Sehoon Jeong, Sungjin Kim, Arum Hart, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The amnion membrane that lines the human intrauterine cavity is composed of amnion epithelial cells (AECs) connected to an extracellular matrix containing amnion mesenchymal cells (AMCs) through a basement membrane. Cellular interactions and transitions are mechanisms that facilitate membrane remodeling to maintain its integrity. Dysregulation of cellular remodeling, primarily mediated by oxidative stress (OS), is often associated with preterm birth. However, the mechanisms that maintain membrane homeostasis remain unclear. To understand these mechanisms, we developed an amnion membrane organ-on-chip (AM-OOC) and tested the interactive and transition properties of primary human AECs and AMCs under normal and OS conditions. AM-OOC contained 2 chambers connected by type IV collagen—coated microchannels, allowing independent culture conditions that permitted cellular migration and interactions. Cells grown either independently or coculture were exposed to OS inducing cigarette smoke extract, antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), or both. When grown independently, AECs transitioned to AMCs and migrated, whereas AMCs migrated without transition. OS caused AECs' transition but prevented migration, whereas AMCs' migration was unhindered. Coculture of cells facilitated transition, migration, and eventual integration in the contiguous population. OS cotreatment in both chambers facilitated AECs' transition, prevented migration, and increased inflammation, a process that was prevented by NAC. AM-OOC recapitulated cellular mechanisms observed in utero and enabled experimental manipulation of cells to determine their roles during pregnancy and parturition.—Richardson, L., Jeong, S., Kim, S., Han, A., Menon, R. Amnion membrane organ-on-chip: an innovative approach to study cellular interactions. FASEB J. 33, 8945–8960 (2019).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8945-8960
Number of pages16
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • amnion epithelial cells
  • amnion mesenchymal cells
  • cellular migration
  • cellular transition
  • fetal membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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