In recent years, there has been an increased interest in organs-on-chips technology as these physiological models may augment drug discovery. However, the lack of rapid, scalable, and facile manufacturing techniques limit the widespread use of organs-on-chips. Most intestine-on-a-chip models are manufactured via poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) soft lithography; which limits industrial scaling and requires microfabrication training and equipment. Also, PDMS absorbs hydrophobic molecules and is gas permeable, limiting use for drug discovery and modeling hypoxic tissues such as the intestine. 

The current technology proposes intestine-on-a-chip models utilizing immortalized Caco-2 cells.

Technology Overview

This technology describes a rapid and scalable manufacturing method for fabricating microfluidic organ-on-chip cell culture devices. These cut‑and‑assemble devices are made by a laser cutting system along with double-sided adhesives and thermoplastics that support the growth of human cells. To recapitulate the human intestine, human epithelial Caco-2 cells are cultured in an apical fluidic compartment that interfaced with a basal fluidic compartment via a membrane coated with collagen type I. This method provides a faster, easier, and cheaper way of manufacturing organs-on-chip.


  • Rapid manufacturing compared to soft lithography (hours) 
  • Support human epithelial Caco-2 cells 
  • Impermeable to gas: allows for control of oxygen tension during cell culture 
  • Tunable channel geometries and heights 
  • Tunable electrode placement and design for, but not limited to: TEER, extracellular potential, and aptamer-based biosensors


  • Physiological cell culture of different cell types 
  • Testing therapeutic agents on cultured cells
  • Disease modeling via cultured cells


  • License
  • Partnering
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Vaibhav Saini
Senior Manager Commercialization
Northeastern University
Sanjin Hosic
Abigail Koppes
Shashi Murthy
Ryan Koppes
Jonathan Soucy