VITROCELL® Cloud Alpha AX12 Lung-on-Chip

Aerosol exposure for breathing AXLung-on-Chip in close cooperation with AlveoliX

Chip-based exposure of cell cultures

The VITROCELL® Cloud Alpha AX12 is our innovation in the Cloud family and ­presents a great leap forward in ­automated exposure of cell ­cultures with breathing function. It combines highly efficient testing with ease of use. The ­development is based on the well-known and ­frequently published VITROCELL® Cloud formats (6-, 12-, 24- and 96-well). Its functionality enables fully automated processes with an all-in-one control unit. Everyday ­experiments at the Air/Liquid Interface have never been easier.

It is suitable for the nebulization of solutions and suspensions. Fields of ­­appli­cation are, but are not limited to, screening of inhaled drugs and toxicity testing of inhaled substances such as chemicals, nanoparticles and airborne pathogens.

Air / Liquid Cultivation and Exposure

A: Direct and controlled ­exposure of test ­atmosphere to cells
B: Cells on ultrathin AX membrane
C: Media below cells

1: Inlet well
2: Cell well
3: Outlet well
4: Fluidic chamber

AlveoliX AXLung-on-Chip System

The AXLung-on-Chip System allows in vitro modeling in outmost physiological conditions by replicating the essential key features of the lung microenvironment.

  • Ultrathin, porous, and elastic support for cell growth
  • Breathing motion
  • Air/Liquid Interface
  • 3D tissues (multiple co-cultures)

The combination of the breathing-induced cyclic stretch and the optimized ultrathin cell culture substrate (AX membrane) preserves lung cells’ functionality and phenotype. The technology provides answers to fundamental questions about lung biomechanics and cell biology. Furthermore, it is a powerful tool to recreate healthy, diseased, and personalized in vitro models, which can be implemented in drug development to test molecule efficacy and safety, and in toxicity assessment of e. g. pollutants, chemicals and consumer goods. This will hopefully lead to more animal free product development in the future.

AXLung-on-Chip System components

Aside the AX12, the system is made up of three further components: two pneumatic controllers, AX Breather and AX Exchanger, and the AX Dock which is the interface between these two devices and the AX12.

  • AXBreather: The AXBreather controls the deflection of the micro-diaphragm inside the AX12, recreating the 3D cyclic breathing motion.
  • AXExchanger: The AXExchanger enables a fluid flow for initial chip filling and medium exchange by pneumatically controlling the opening and closing of the valves inside the AX12.
  • AXDock: The AXDock connects the AX12 with the AXBreather and the AX Exchanger creating an air-tight sealing for the pneumatic actuation.
  • AX12: The AX12 is the cell culture consumable and is based on a 96-well plate format. It consists of two chips ­supported by a plate and includes a total of 12 independent wells.

AlveoliX 3D Breathing concept

A nature-inspired concept is used to recreate the breathing motion. The ultrathin AXmembrane (blue) is deflected by applying negative pressure inside the basal chip chamber through an integrated micro-diaphragm (grey).


  • Low nebulization volumes: 300 µl per exposure
  • High deposition efficiency
  • Easy handling with no external air-flow required
  • Air/Liquid Interface exposure
  • Breathing Lung-on-Chip system
  • Porous membrane allowing cell-cell interaction
  • Increased cell sensitivity in physiological conditions
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VITROCELL® Cloud Alpha AX12 Lung-on-Chip

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