Air-liquid interface (ALI) research has long been the gold standard in representing in vivo biology in an in vitro culture environment. Because it exposes one side of the culture to liquid media and surrounds the other by air, the technique is ideal for studying respiratory tract epithelial cells, which interact with both, liquid and air in vivo.
Though ALI experimentation has been vital in researching multiple respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it's extremely critical now as scientists explore the respiratory underpinnings of the novel coronavirus. Already, ALI has expanded scientists' understanding of the virus that causes COVID-19; studies have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other elite medical journals, and several more are to come.
ALI is set to become even more pivotal for preclinical research. We spoke with Shabana Islam, MS, PhD, Product Line Manager at Corning Life Sciences, to understand why, and to learn best practices that researchers should consider as they apply ALI techniques in the lab.