In vitro models of gut digestion across childhood: current developments, challenges and future trends
- Review Article
The human digestion is a multi-step and multi-compartment process essential for human health, at the heart of many issues raised by academics, the medical world and industrials from the food, nutrition and pharma fields. In the first years of life, major dietary changes occur and are concomitant with an evolution of the whole child digestive tract anatomy and physiology, including colonization of gut microbiota. All these phenomena are influenced by child exposure to environmental compounds, such as drugs (especially antibiotics) and food pollutants, but also childhood infections. Due to obvious ethical, regulatory and technical limitations, in vivo approaches in animal and human are more and more restricted to favor complementary in vitro approaches. This review summarizes current knowledge on the evolution of child gut physiology from birth to 3 years old regarding physicochemical, mechanical and microbial parameters. Then, all the available in vitro models of the child digestive tract are described, ranging from the simplest static mono-compartmental systems to the most sophisticated dynamic and multi-compartmental models, and mimicking from the oral phase to the colon compartment. Lastly, we detail the main applications of child gut models in nutritional, pharmaceutical and microbiological studies and discuss the limitations and challenges facing this field of research. Show more
Journal / seriesBiotechnology Advances
Pages / Article No.
SubjectChild; Digestion; Gut physiology evolution; Gut microbiota; In vitro gut models; Nutrition; Pharmacy; Microbiology; Toxicology
Organisational unit03626 - Lacroix, Christophe (emeritus) / Lacroix, Christophe (emeritus)
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