Development of oxidative stress-associated disease models using feto-maternal interface organ-on-a-chip

Lauren S. Richardson, Ananth Kumar Kammala, Sungjin Kim, Po Yi Lam, Nina Truong, Enkhtuya Radnaa, Rheanna Urrabaz-Garza, Arum Han, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation arising from cellular derangements at the fetal membrane-decidual interface (feto-maternal interface [FMi]) is a major antecedent to preterm birth (PTB). However, it is impractical to study OS-associated FMi disease state during human pregnancy, and thus it is difficult to develop strategies to reduce the incidences of PTB. A microfluidic organ-on-chip model (FMi-OOC) that mimics the in vivo structure and functions of FMi in vitro was developed to address this challenge. The FMi-OOC contained fetal (amnion epithelial, mesenchymal, and chorion) and maternal (decidua) cells cultured in four compartments interconnected by arrays of microchannels to allow independent but interconnected co-cultivation. Using this model, we tested the effects of OS and inflammation on both fetal (fetal → maternal) and maternal (maternal → fetal) sides of the FMi and determined their differential impact on PTB-associated pathways. OS was induced using cigarette smoke extract (CSE) exposure. The impacts of OS were assessed by measuring cell viability, disruption of immune homeostasis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), development of senescence, and inflammation. CSE propagated (LC/MS-MS analysis for nicotine) over a 72-hour period from the maternal to fetal side, or vice versa. However, they caused two distinct pathological effects on the maternal and fetal cells. Specifically, fetal OS induced cellular pathologies and inflammation, whereas maternal OS caused immune intolerance. The pronounced impact produced by the fetus supports the hypothesis that fetal inflammatory response is a mechanistic trigger for parturition. The FMi disease-associated changes identified in the FMi-OOC suggest the unique capability of this in vitro model in testing in utero conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e23000
JournalFASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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