The Netherlands becomes global player organ-on-chip technology
Organ-on-chip technology is used in drug research and customized treatments for patients. Research Institutes and industry join forces within the Institute for human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT) that was officially launched on May 18. Combining facilities, people and expertise will allow the Netherlands to become a global player in this technology.
In ‘organ-on-chip and ‘disease-on-chip’ models tissue is recreated by using living human cells on a microchip. Liquids are passed through this tissue via small channels, as if they were flowing through the circulatory system in real tissues. This is an ideal means of testing drugs, and the expectation is that this technology can replace testing drugs on animals.
The effects of drugs can vary per patient. By using patient-own stem cells for an organ-on-chip model, it becomes possible to test customized treatments for individual patients.
Cancer, vessels and heart-on-chip
Stem cell technology and microfluidics technology at Leiden University play a central role in the first three focus areas of hDMT: cancer-on-chip, chip-on vessels and heart-on-chip.
In addition, the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) contributes strong expertise in cancer biology, three-dimensional tissue models, advanced microscopy system pharmacology and analysis of cellular metabolism. Together with other partners, these valuations are used for the first-generation models developed by hDMT.
Within the hDMT, nine partners from research institutes and industry share knowledge and research facilities. Initially, the foundation is focusing on the research areas of cardiovascular, cancer and vascular-on-chips. But ultimately, it is intended that the consortium can lead up to ten to twenty types of organs to a chip.
Leiden University, Leiden University Medical Center, Genmab and the Erasmus Medical Centre, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, Twente University, Hubrecht Institute, Galapagos NV.