The Modular μSiM: a Mass Produced, Rapidly Assembled, and Reconfigurable Platform for the Study of Barrier Tissue Models In Vitro.

McCloskey, Molly C; Kasap, Pelin; Ahmad, S Danial; Su, Shiuan-Haur; Chen, Kaihua; Mansouri, Mehran; Ramesh, Natalie; Nishihara, Hideaki; Belyaev, Yury; Abhyankar, Vinay V; Begolo, Stefano; Singer, Benjamin H; Webb, Kevin F; Kurabayashi, Katsuo; Flax, Jonathan; Waugh, Richard E; Engelhardt, Britta; McGrath, James L (2022). The Modular μSiM: a Mass Produced, Rapidly Assembled, and Reconfigurable Platform for the Study of Barrier Tissue Models In Vitro. Advanced healthcare materials, 11(18), e2200804. Wiley 10.1002/adhm.202200804

Adv_Healthcare_Materials_-_2022_-_McCloskey_-_The_Modular_SiM_a_Mass_Produced_Rapidly_Assembled_and_Reconfigurable.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (4MB) | Preview

Advanced in vitro tissue chip models can reduce and replace animal experimentation and may eventually support "on-chip" clinical trials. To realize this potential, however, tissue chip platforms must be both mass-produced and reconfigurable to allow for customized design. To address these unmet needs, we introduce an extension of our μSiM (microdevice featuring a silicon-nitride membrane) platform. The modular μSiM (m-μSiM) uses mass-produced components to enable rapid assembly and reconfiguration by laboratories without knowledge of microfabrication. We demonstrate the utility of the m-μSiM by establishing an hiPSC-derived blood-brain barrier (BBB) in bioengineering and non-engineering, brain barriers focused laboratories. We develop and validate in situ and sampling-based assays of small molecule diffusion as a measure of barrier function. BBB properties show excellent interlaboratory agreement and match expectations from literature, validating the m-μSiM as a platform for barrier models and demonstrating successful dissemination of components and protocols. We then demonstrate the ability to quickly reconfigure the m-μSiM for co-culture and immune cell transmigration studies through addition of accessories and/or quick exchange of components. Because the development of modified components and accessories is easily achieved, custom designs of the m-μSiM should be accessible to any laboratory desiring a barrier-style tissue chip platform. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Theodor Kocher Institute
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Kasap, Pelin, Nishihara, Hideaki, Belyaev, Yury, Engelhardt, Britta


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2022 12:32

Last Modified:

30 Jul 2023 00:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

blood-brain barrier membranes modular tissue chips vascular barriers




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback