Trophoblast invasion and remodeling of uterine spiral artery is closely related to the healthy pregnancy and normal development of fetus. However, if the trophoblast invasion is inhibited and the spiral artery remodeling process is not sufficiently done, this promotes grave pregnancy diseases such as pre-eclampsia.
In this research we focused on one of the major factors that affect trophoblast invasion, oxygen concentration. We designed a microfluidic device fabricated with Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which can mimic the microenvironment of the placenta and control physiological oxygen concentration. Human umbilical vessel cells (HUVEC) and trophoblasts (HTR-8) were cultured inside the microfluidic device to recapitulate the placental microenvironment. HUVECs and trophoblasts were co-cultured under normoxic and hypoxic condition to recapitulated trophoblast invasion. We anticipate this device to be utilized as a research model for improve our understandings on mechanisms of trophoblast invasion and a possible platform for developing treatment methods and medicines for pregnancy disorders.