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Proof-of-Concept Organ-on-Chip Study: Topical Cinnamaldehyde Exposure of Reconstructed Human Skin with Integrated Neopapillae Cultured under Dynamic Flow

Vahav, Irit; Thon, Maria; van den Broek, Lenie J.; Spiekstra, Sander W.; Atac, Beren; Lindner, Gerd; Schimek, Katharina; Marx, Uwe; Gibbs, Susan

Inst. Biotechnologie

Pharmaceutical and personal care industries require human representative models for testing to ensure the safety of their products. A major route of penetration into our body after substance exposure is via the skin. Our aim was to generate robust culture conditions for a next generation human skin-on-chip model containing neopapillae and to establish proof-of-concept testing with the sensitizer, cinnamaldehyde. Reconstructed human skin consisting of a stratified and differentiated epidermis on a fibroblast populated hydrogel containing neopapillae spheroids (RhS-NP), were cultured air-exposed and under dynamic flow for 10 days. The robustness of three independent experiments, each with up to 21 intra-experiment replicates, was investigated. The epidermis was seen to invaginate into the hydrogel towards the neopapille spheroids. Daily measurements of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and glucose levels within the culture medium demonstrated high viability and stable metabolic activity throughout the culture period in all three independent experiments and in the replicates within an experiment. Topical cinnamaldehyde exposure to RhS-NP resulted in dose-dependent cytotoxicity (increased LDH release) and elevated cytokine secretion of contact sensitizer specific IL-18, pro-inflammatory IL-1β, inflammatory IL-23 and IFN-γ, as well as anti-inflammatory IL-10 and IL-12p70. This study demonstrates the robustness and feasibility of complex next generation skin models for investigating skin immunotoxicity.