Gut on a Chip 4.0: next generation models to study gut-microbiome interaction

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


There is currently no readily accessible and realistic model for human gut signaling. Such a model would need to combine computational modelling with functional readouts in a physiologically relevant setting, in the presence of diverse metabolites and receptors in a dynamic microbiota environment, and under the influence of nutrition. This unsolved technological challenge holds back progress in understanding the roles of metabolite signaling for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease. The aim of the PhD will be to deliver a new human colon microfluidic technology platform that will enable analysis of gut signaling in a near physiological setting, through a computational and physical model. To achieve this we will deliver a human in vitro colonic microfluidic model, complete with mechanically active bacterial microenvironment and neuronal system. This ambitious aim, which has never been achieved before, requires a highly inter-disciplinary PhD necessitating specialists in 4 main areas in order for the project to progress and succeed: device design and fabrication, GPCR biology, chemical probes, and organoid transfer to the device. Our industrial partner Emulate will play an active role in the PhD.

By the end of the PhD the student will have delivered a near human colonic model which can be used to understand the complexed relationship between nutrition, microbiota and multidimensional GPCR signaling pathways.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2271938 Studentship EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Shreyas Bhatt