The device has four upper chambers within which corneal cells are allowed to grow. These are linked up to four lower chambers via a porous polyester membrane. As the cells grow in the upper chamber, they create a corneal barrier to block off the lower chamber. Pushing liquid up into the upper chambers and over the corneal cells simulates the forces that the cornea experiences when we blink. The four identical parallel channels within the device allow four different compounds or scenarios to be tested under similar conditions in a single experiment.
The device has already led to some new discoveries, including the fact blinking seems to affect the overall shape of corneal cells. Moreover, it looks like blinking also promotes the growth of filaments that provide flexibility and elasticity to the cornea.
Study in Lab on a Chip: Multi-corneal barrier-on-a-chip to recapitulate eye blinking shear stress forces
Via: Kyoto University