Pump-prime Projects

Adenomyosis-on-a-chip: a microfluidic 3D model of the endometrial-myometrial junction (EMJ)

Status: Completed
Principal Investigator:
  • Michele Zagnoni
    University of Strathclyde
  • Dharani Hapangama
    University of Liverpool
  • Caroline Busch
    University of Glasgow
Award round: 3
Start date: 06-04-2021
End date: 20-06-2021
Contract amount: £22,610
PDFInitial project report


Despite the impact they have on patient’s lives, chronic gynaecological conditions remain under-researched. In diseases like endometriosis and adenomyosis, the cells that form the lining of the uterus (endometrial cells) are found in other tissues: outside of the uterus in the case of endometriosis and within the muscle layer of the uterus (the myometrium) in the case of adenomyosis.

To better understand the physiology underlying such diseases and to better predict the responses of potential therapies, new laboratory models are required. In this project, we will create 3D cell models of uterine tissue on-a-chip to generate proof-of-concept data for adenomyosis research. We will combine human cells from myometrial and endometrial tissues into a microdevice that will enable thousands of these 3D cell models to be formed and investigated, enabling many assays to be performed within a single device, in conditions that best mimic native human tissue.

Our long-term aim is to expand our approach to build alternative culture models suitable not only for adenomyosis research, but also for uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

Key Outputs

Adenomyosis-on-a-chip: a 3D endometrial-myometrial microfluidic model, OOAC e-Symposium Nov 2021, abstract presentation, Mairi Sandison
Optimised protocol for creating a human on-chip model of the uterine wall, comprising both myometrial and endometrial layers