This question is part of the following Ask The Expert session:
ALI models have expanded scientists’ understanding of the virus that causes COVID-19. There have been many studies published in peer reviewed journals, and several more are to come.
Corning has compiled a citation summary for Transwell permeable supports on studying COVID-19 at the Air-Liquid Interface as well as published an application note on Human Airway Epithelial Cell Culture and COVID-19 Research. Coronavirus-related and COVID-19-related articles, including those using ALI research, have also been made accessible in public repositories such as PubMed through the NIH National Library of Medicine.
Regarding any studies on ALI used for COVID-19 research, the citation summary that Corning has put together highlights some of the recent publications in which Transwell permeable supports were used for ALI studies as an ex-vivo model and these studies demonstrate Transwell permeable supports as an effective tool to study the coronavirus infection and for the development of targeted therapies.
In fact, one of the first publications in The New England Journal of Medicine that came out right after the COVID-19 pandemic began, highlighted the use of Transwell permeable supports from Corning for an ALI model. In this model, the researchers cultured human airway epithelial cells on collagen coated Transwell permeable supports for virus infection from samples that were taken from patients and for subsequent virus propagation of human respiratory secretions onto human airway epithelial cell cultures to identify virus particles in the infected patients.
The citation summary mentioned above covers the various ways that ALI models can be used – from mechanistic studies as to which differentiated epithelial cell type does the coronavirus target for eg cilia and the replication of coronavirus to the study of drug compound potency on a COVID-19 strain, and the effect of drug combination therapies against COVID-19.
One of the citations listed highlights that 3D alveolar organoid models and ALI cultures represent a highly relevant preclinical tool to assess SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication and serve as a platform for drug screening and validation.