Prof. Hongli Lin
Prof. Hongli Lin
The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, China
Title: Microfluidic kidney-on-chips
An organ-on-a-chip is a microfluidic cell culture device created with microchip manufacturing methods that contains continuously perfused chambers inhabited by living cells arranged to simulate tissue- and organ-level physiology. These devices produce levels of tissue and organ functionality not possible with conventional 2D or 3D culture systems. Using microfluidic technology, we firstly established two devices that imitate the microenvironment of renal proximal tubular epithelia to investigate the process of EMT during the development of proteinuric nephropathy. Our study revealed that exposure of renal epithelial cells to flowing medium containing human serum proteins or complement C3a induced apoptosis or a mesenchymal phenotype, providing new insight into this pathological process. Subsequently, we established renal interstitium microenvironment-on-a-chip with human proximal tubular epithelial cells on one side and human umbilical vein endothelial cells on the other. PTECs form a confluent epithelial monolayer that exhibits primary cilia and expresses Na+/K+ ATPase, Aquaporin 1 (AQP1), albumin and glucose uptake. HUVECs showed the angiogenesis and cell-cell junctions. Furthermore, we used short hairpin RNA(shRNA) and cDNA targeting SENP1 to investigate its role in regulating HIF-1α signaling and further explored the mechanisms of SENP1/HIF-1α/VEGF signaling in PTECs-HUVECs crosstalk under hypoxia/reoxygenation. Co-cultures on the chip is superior to conventional culture models for measuring studying renal physiology and kidney diseases. Microfluidic devices that simulate glomerular physiology and pathology have not been studied sufficiently. We developed a multifunctional “glomerulus-on-a-chip” (GC) that reconstructs the pivotal structure of glomeruli and realizes glomerular filtration function in a physiologic microenvironment within complex hemodynamic factors, and this device has been used to create a disease model on a chip that mimics hypertensive nephropathy in humans. Microfluidic organs-on-chips offer a new approach to scientists in basic and applied research. It will be developed into robust, predictive models of human physiology and disease, and into tools for drug discovery and development.
Prof. Lin was graduated from The Military Academy of the People's Liberation Army and received her Doctor degree in Nephrology in 2001. She is now Professor of Medicine, Director of Kidney Disease Research Institution of Dalian Medical University, Director of Renal Division of the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Director of the Key Lab of Liaoning Integrated Control for Chronic Kidney Diseases and Director of Renal Translational Medicine Center of Liaoning Province. She also serves as Standing Committee and Deputy Secretary-General of Chinese Society of Nephrology, Vice Chairman of World Association of Chinese Nephrologists, Vice Chairman of Chinese Nephrologists Association, Standing Committee of Renal Pharmacological Specific Committee of Chinese Pharmacological Society and Chairman of Liaoning Society of Nephrology. Furthermore, she was selected as New Century Excellent Talents by Ministry of Education and received special allowance of State Council. Besides, she was rewarded the National Outstanding Workers in National Health and Family Planning System in 2017, Liaoning Outstanding Scientific and Technological Workers in 2016, Chinese Doctor Year Award and China Medical Women’s Association Wuzhou Women Science And Technology Award in 2014. Till now, Prof. Lin has hosted more than ten national projects, including one Special Fund for NHFPC Scientific Research in the Public Welfare, one key project of National Natural Science Foundation of China and has published over 120 papers, including 60 SCI papers. She has been rewarded 4 national and provincial prizes for Science & Technology Progress, including the First Prize for Science & Technology Progress she just received by the government of Liaoning Province in 2016. In the recent three years, Prof. Lin has got three Chinese patents related to her Nephrology research.