When microbes infect cells, they often signal the immune system to manage the infection. Infected cells from one organ can also implicate other organs from crosstalk and fluid flow of signaling molecules and immune markers. Infection involves complex pathways between organs and organ systems and provokes immune responses that impact tissues in a variety of ways, like inducing inflammation.
Culturing multiple organs along with components of the immune system on microfluidic devices provides a platform to assess the dynamic mechanisms and effects of infection. The stages and properties of infection of a variety of infectious agents can be analyzed on these platforms, from microbial colonization and invasion to multi-organ pathological outcomes and drug interactions. They also provide a model for infectious diseases, revealing intricate interactions between host and pathogen from the time of infection to treatment.