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Tuesday, October 22 • 2:50pm - 3:10pm
Complex Translational Models- Modelling the Human Airway Mucosa for Preclinical Drug Development and Testing

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In the UK, lung diseases account for 20% of deaths, >700,000 hospital admissions and >6 million inpatient bed-days/year. Admissions often result from acute exacerbations for which there are no effective treatments, despite large investment by pharma. Over 85% of promising new drug candidates fail in clinical trials leading to high rates of attrition. Likely explanations include the poor correlation between current animal models with the human pathology and the lack of representative, validated and qualified 3D human cell models. In our clinical translational studies, we use human lung tissue samples to study disease mechanisms and are developing the ‘4D Airway Biochip’ platform to help improve our understanding of lung diseases.  This microfluidic platform models interstitial flow, providing a cellular environment that is closer to the in vivo situation, and allows kinetic sampling of cellular secretions.  Furthermore, it provides an air interface for challenge with environmental agents,  whilst frequency-dependent electrical impedance measurements allow epithelial barrier properties to be monitored in real time.  Data from this platform suggest that it is predictive of in vivo tissue responses and offers a practical solution for new drug discovery not only in airway diseases but for other diseases where epithelial barrier defects contribute to disease pathogenesis. It may also offer a useful in vitro platform for pharmacological and toxicological studies.

avatar for Donna Davies, Ph.D.

Donna Davies, Ph.D.

Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton
Donna Davies has a PhD in Biochemistry and holds a Personal Chair at the University of Southampton, UK. She has pioneered the use of tissue engineering using airway tissue derived from volunteers with asthma or COPD as alternatives to using animal models of pulmonary disease.  More... Read More →


Timothy Spicer, BS, MS, Ph.D.

Senior Scientific Director, Scripps Research Florida

Tuesday October 22, 2019 2:50pm - 3:10pm BST
Wellcome Auditorium