COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS OF OXYGEN TRANSPORT IN A LIVERON- A-CHIP PLATFORM
Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) models have been increasingly used in biological studies and drug testing due to their capability to mimic several functions of human organs and reduce the use of animal models. Despite the importance of the experimental studies, when these models are conducted in parallel with numerical studies, the analysis and understanding of the physical phenomena, which sometimes is difficult to assess in vitro, can be achieved more rapidly and at a lower cost. Moreover, computational methods allow the optimization of the
device geometry and biological parameters contributing, in this way, to the establishment of more effective and accurate advanced microfluidic devices. Accordingly, these in vitro models are getting increasing attention from the scientific community to study several physical and biological phenomena such as the wall shear stresses, velocity fields, nutrients' diffusion, and so on.
Knowing that the oxygen availability is one of the most important parameters in cell culture and that the computational simulations provide a great insight as a supplementary tool alongside empirical tests, in the present work, a finite-volume method was used to investigate the oxygen transport in a liver-on-a-chip model perfused with culture medium resorting to Ansys® Fluent software. The results indicate that the oxygen diffusion in the OoC was driven by the created vortices. These observations have provided valuable insights
into how oxygen is carried out to the cells.