Multi-compartment lymph-node-on-a-chip enables measurement of immune cell motility in response to drugs

Nicholas Hallfors, Aya Shanti, Jiranuwat Sapudom, Jeremy Teo, Georg Petroianu, Sungmun Lee, Lourdes Planelles, Cesare Stefanini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organs On-a-Chip represent novel platforms for modelling human physiology and disease. The lymph node (LN) is a relevant immune organ in which B and T lymphocytes are spatially orga-nized in a complex architecture, and it is the place where the immune response initiates. The present study addresses the utility of a recently designed LN-on-a-chip to dissect and understand the effect of drugs delivered to cells in a fluidic multicellular 3D setting that mimics the human LN. To do so, we analyzed the motility and viability of human B and T cells exposed to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). We show that the innovative LN platform, which operates at a microscale level, allows real-time monitoring of co-cultured B and T cells by imaging, and supports cellular random movement. HCQ delivered to cells through a constant and continuous flow induces a reduction in T cell velocity while promotes persistent rotational motion. We also find that HCQ increases the production of reactive oxygen species in T cells. Taken together, these results highlight the potential of the LN-on-a-chip to be applied in drug screening and development, and in cellular dynamics studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Lymph node-on-a-chip
  • Motility
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Rotational motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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