Aelius Biotech, UK-based specialists in modelling digestion and absorption throughout the digestive tract, are expanding their modelling capabilities to include the oesophagus following a recent publication from the research team which highlights the need for integration of an effective, lab based model of the oesphagus into models of the upper digestive tract.
The publication, titled “In vitro modelling of the mucosa of the oesophagus and upper digestive tract”, published in Annals of Esophagus, explores current lab-based oesophageal models – detailing their effectiveness in researching oesophageal pathologies such as oesophageal cancer and eosinophilic oesophagitis The review also highlights how integrating this model with established model gut systems would allow expansion of their modelling capabilities to a wider range of oesophageal diseases.
“…acid suppressing drug prescriptions alone cost the NHS upwards of £625 million per annum, and omeprazole remains one of the most prescribed drugs on earth.”
A major example is research into gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), an extremely common, chronic disease of the oesophagus which involves the reflux of gastric acids and tissue damaging enzymes from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing heartburn, oesophageal tissue damage, oesophagitis, and in some cases oesophageal cancer. GORD also causes extreme economic burdens – acid suppressing drug prescriptions alone cost the NHS upwards of £625 million per annum, and omeprazole remains one of the most prescribed drugs on earth.
Such societal and economic burdens placed by conditions like GORD highlight the need for an effective integrated models of the upper digestive tract, including the oesophagus, to pursue more effective treatments, with an end goal of relieving such burdens.
Aelius Biotech are currently investigating multiple oesophageal cell lines to integrate into their models of the upper digestive tract, as well as ex vivo porcine oesophageal tissue explants (a section of a pigs oesophagus to be used in lab testing).