The microbiota of the human gut interacts with the immune and endocrine systems and plays a role in diseases like diabetes, cancers and even neuro-chemical imbalances such as schizophrenia. In MIMIO we will study the great potential in the ability to manipulate the microbiota into a stable healthy state. However, key challenges remain:

(i) Oral administration of microorganisms is preferred and allows delivery to ileum. However, most microbes do not survive the passage through the hostile environment of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

(ii) The delivered microorganisms need to be able to enter the mucus layer covering the intestinal surface – otherwise they will typically be outcompeted by native bacteria that have this mucus penetrating ability.

(iii) The delivered microorganisms need to be able to multiply and colonize the gut mucosa.  In many reported attempts, this is a challenge due to the resilience of the existing microbiota.

It is the ambition of the MIMIO project to explore nano and microfabricated containers for oral delivery of microorganisms. The overall goal is that microcontainers will ensure better establishment and colonization of delivered microorganisms, compared to the technologies available today. The devices will be developed and tested in mouse models for their ability to:

(i) Protect living microorganisms until and during delivery in ileum or colon.

(ii) Enable embedding into intesti­nal mucosa for enhanced and targeted seeding of microorganisms.

(iii) Realize an efficient environment for proliferation of the microorganisms through delivery into the mucus layer and through co-delivery of i.e. growth stimulating (prebiotic) substrates and/or localized pre-release of antibiotics to pave the way for a new bacterial community.

(iv) Prevent or cure UC associated microbial dysbiosis in relevant animal models.

Read the press coverage about the MIMIO project here:  and here

25 NOVEMBER 2020