While in vitro cell based systems have been an invaluable tool in biology, they often suffer from a lack of physiological relevance. The discrepancy between the in vitro and in vivo systems has been a bottleneck in drug development process and biological sciences. The recent progress in microtechnology has enabled manipulation of cellular environment at a physiologically relevant length scale, which has led to the development of novel in vitro organ systems, often termed 'organ-on-a-chip' systems. By mimicking the cellular environment of in vivo tissues, various organ-on-a-chip systems have been reported to reproduce target organ functions better than conventional in vitro model systems. Ultimately, these organ-on-a-chip systems will converge into multi-organ 'body-on-a-chip' systems composed of functional tissues that reproduce the dynamics of the whole-body response. Such microscale in vitro systems will open up new possibilities in medical science and in the pharmaceutical industry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering