Microphysiological models of the upper airway to evaluate pathogen resistance
In light of the currently extant Covid pandemic. the impact of understanding upper airway health and being prepared for the rapid development of novel therapeutics has been reinforced. While preclinical animal models have long been the gold standard for the testing and development of novel therapeutics. they are expensive and time consuming. The availability of validated. reproducible and scalable in vitro diagnostics that reproduce relevant physiology and function as test-benches for the rapid testing and development of personalized medicine therapeutics is thus invaluable. In pursuit of this goal. we propose to develop an upper airway -on-chip" platform that takes into account the unique air-liquid interface of airway physiology. the inflammatory response of systemic tissue and a robust multi-omics approach to predicting outcomes for physiological and pathological tissue states. The novel platform would only be possible through the synergistic integration of bioengineers. biologists and machine learning experts as in the team assembled for this proposal."