Microphysiological Conditions Do Not Affect MDR1-Mediated Transport of Rhodamine 123 above an Artificial Proximal Tubule
Despite disadvantages, such as high cost and their poor predictive value, animal experiments are still the state of the art for pharmaceutical substance testing. One reason for this problem is the inability of standard cell culture methods to emulate the physiological environment necessary to recapitulate in vivo processes. Microphysiological systems offer the opportunity to close this gap. In this study, we utilize a previously employed microphysiological system to examine the impact of pressure and flow on the transportation of substances mediated by multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) across an artificial cell-based tubular barrier. By using a miniaturized fluorescence measurement device, we could continuously track the MDR1-mediated transport of rhodamine 123 above the artificial barrier over 48 h. We proved that applying pressure and flow affects both active and passive transport of rhodamine 123. Using experimental results and curve fittings, the kinetics of MDR1-mediated transport as well as passive transport were investigated; thus, a kinetic model that explains this transport above an artificial tubular barrier was identified. This kinetic model demonstrates that the simple Michaelis–Menten model is not an appropriate model to explain the MDR1-mediated transport; instead, Hill kinetics, with Hill slope of n = 2, is a better fit. The kinetic values, K m , V max , and apparent permeability (P app ), obtained in this study are comparable with other in vivo and in vitro studies. Finally, the presented proximal tubule-on-a-chip can be used for pharmaceutical substance testing and to investigate pharmacokinetics of the renal transporter MDR1.