Developing a microfluidic lung-on-a-chip model for accelerating the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory disorder of the lung, and one that affects 2.6 million Canadians and 380 million people worldwide. The current therapies are very imprecise and none modifies disease progression or mortality. There is a pressing need to discover novel targets to enable precision health, promote new therapeutic discoveries, and ultimately improve the care and health outcomes of patients with COPD. However, this process is hindered by the use of outdated cell culture systems and animal models. Therefore, the overall objective of the proposed research project is to design and build a microfluidic-based lung-on-a-chip device that better mimics the human small airway. The proposed collaboration between the biomedical engineering intern and Providence Health Care (PHC) biologists and physicians will lead to a device that can be heavily used in the novel COPD therapeutic target discovery pipeline.

Faculty Supervisor:

Karen Cheung


Tanya Bennet


Providence Health Care


Engineering - computer / electrical


Medical devices




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