GROWTH Network

The GROWTH consortium, funded by the European Commission (2019-2023), is made up to train a new generation of researchers working on new pathological insights, biomarker diagnostics and personalized nutritional interventions for intestinal failure in neonates and preterm infants.


Academic and industry partners, covering various disciplines ranging from fundamental research to clinical paediatrics and analytical chemistry to organoid and gut-on-chip applications, have teamed up in the European Union.

Research Programme

GROWTH aims to set-up a new European platform that trains young scientists in the industry-led exploration of innovative routes to fully exploit the potential of early life nutrition to prevent inflammatory disease. GROWTH coordinates 8 individual research projects.


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The Progress of Intestinal Epithelial Models from Cell Lines to Gut-On-Chip

Over the past years, several preclinical in vitro and ex vivo models have been developed that helped to understand some of the critical aspects of intestinal functions in health and disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the translation to the human in vivo situation remains problematic. The main reason for this is that these approaches fail to fully reflect the multifactorial and complex in vivo environment (e.g., including microbiota, nutrition, and immune response) in the gut system. Although conventional models such as cell lines, Ussing chamber, and the everted sac are still used, increasingly more sophisticated intestinal models have been developed over the past years including organoids, InTESTine™ and microfluidic gut-on-chip. In this review, most recent insights are gathered on the setup, advantages, limitations, and future perspectives of most frequently used in vitro and ex vivo models to study intestinal physiology and functions in health and disease.

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