Inflammatory pathways are incredibly complex and can implicate multiple organs in the body. Inflammation in one organ can cause downstream effects in another organ as inflammatory markers flow through the body. Several inflammatory processes can also further disease progression or trigger protective effects in organs. In organs like the intestine, microbial factors can enhance or suppress inflammatory pathways that eventually affect neurodegenerative conditions.
Comprehensive analysis of inflammation requires platforms that can spatially culture multiple organs. In vivo, inflammatory markers flow from organ to organ, which can be modeled with microfluidics. The inflammatory mechanisms of organs switching from steady to inflammatory states can also be observed on three-dimensional, dynamic platforms. These platforms also permit the study of organ damage induced by inflammatory pathways.