Interspecies intestinal co-culture for simple screening of foods and drugs

Prof. Esther Meyron-Holtz | Biotechnology and Food Engineering


Food and Agriculture | Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

The Technology

To meet a growing world population’s nutritional needs, novel foods and especially protein sources are developed, and need to be tested for their physiologic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal tract is a complex tissue that can be analyzed either in vivo in animal models or in vitro in co-culture cell models. Many different versions of gut-on-chip co-cultures have been developed recently, which each mimic specific aspects of the GI tract. Most gut-on-chip models are complicated, and hard to analyze. Importantly, they mimic different aspects of the cell-to-cell interactions only partially, when cells are not in direct contact. Our technology is based on an interspecies co-culture system of human intestinal epithelial cells and murine representatives of the immune system. The technology is simple to assemble and due to the difference in the cell origin species and cell types, it is also easy to analyze. The interspecies co-culture model made it possible to identify the inflammation mediated iron pattern, and its active role in the perpetuation of intestinal inflammation.


  • Novel co-culture system that is simple to build and easy to analyze.

Applications and Opportunities

  • Tool to evaluate the quality of novel foods or food-components:

       o Pro-inflammatory reactions

       o Anti-inflammatory reactions

       o Metabolic shifts in cellular energy use

arrow Business Development Contacts
Motti Koren
Director of Business Development, Life Sciences