Organ-on-a-chip is a microfluidic cell culture device fabricated by a microchip fabrication method. The device contains a continuously perfused chamber with a multicellular layer structure, tissue interface, physicochemical microenvironment, and human vascular circulation. It can also be considered as a cell culture micro-engineering device that can simulate and reconstruct the physiological functions of human organs.
The development and marketing of new drugs usually require long animal experiments and clinical trials, which are costly and time-consuming, but animal models often cannot simulate the real environment of the human body, while organ-on-a-chip technology can precisely control multiple system parameters, such as chemical concentration gradients, fluid shear force, the construction of cell-graphic tissue, tissue-tissue interfaces, and organ-organ interaction, etc., so as to simulate the complex structure, microenvironment, and physiological function of human organs. The application of organ-on-a-chip technology can greatly shorten the cycle of preclinical drug research and save manpower and material resources. This technology is expected to become a bionic, efficient, and energy-saving physiological research and drug development tool.
Organ-on-a-chip plays an increasingly prominent role in toxicity assessment, disease modeling, drug evaluation, and other fields, providing a systematic solution for life science and medical research. At the same time, in the field of personalized medicine, the technology can use the patient's own cells to create a personalized organ-on-a-chip to predict the effect of a certain drug on an individual basis.
Many companies in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and consumer product industries are using organs-on-chips for testing. For example, L'Oreal, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Roche, Sanofi, etc. have all begun to cooperate with organ-on-chips R&D institutions.
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Alfa Chemistry is a company specializing in customizing all kinds of microfluidic organs-on-chips with a skilled and experienced processing team, which can provide customers with one-stop organs-on-chips processing services.
Bionic microfluidic chips integrate bionics, compactness, and efficiency. In the design of a liver chip, the size of the chip is only a few centimeters. Microprocessing tools are used to create a fine microchannel network that drives the flow of microculture fluid in it, accurately simulating the microenvironment of liver tissue in vivo, fully reflecting the interaction between cells and cells, as well as between cells and growth factors, thereby mimicking functions similar to those of liver organs in vivo.
Gas exchange in the lungs is regulated by alveoli. It is a challenge to replicate this function in vitro, and microfluidic technology can establish in vitro lung models and pathology through accurate fluid flow and continuous gas exchange. The current research is mainly focused on the regulation of airway mechanical pressure, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and the effect of shear stress on pathophysiological processes.
Kidney is responsible for maintaining the osmotic excretion of drugs. The filtration and reabsorption processes occur in the glomerulus, renal capsule, and renal tubules. Due to the irreversible damage caused by toxicity to kidney filtration, the existence of a drug screening system is a great necessity. Microfluidic technology can simulate the fluid environment that supports the growth of tubular cells and provides porous membrane support for maintaining cell polarity.
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of human death, and the emergence of microfluidic technology has made in vitro bionic research on heart tissue possible. Myocardium is the main component of the heart, and the beating of cardiac myocytes (CMs) is directly related to heart pumping, which can be directly used to evaluate the effects of drugs.
Microfluidic intestinal-on-a-chip is a kind of biochip based on microfluidic technology, which can be used to study the physiological and pathological processes of the intestinal tract and the interaction between the intestinal tract and microorganisms. It simulates the anatomy, physiological structure, and function of the intestinal tract and can realize the long-term culture and simulation of the intestinal tract in vitro.
Microfluidic brain-on-a-chip is a biochip based on microfluidic technology, which is used to simulate the structure and function of the human brain. It consists of microfluidic channels, microchips, and human nerve cells. These can control the flow and mixing of fluids on a micron scale and simulate the complex flow and mass transfer processes in the human brain.
A series of physiological pathways require continuous mediator circulation and tissue interaction. However, single organ chips often cannot fully reflect the complexity, integrity, and specific functional changes of organ functions. In fact, "multi-organ-on-a-chip" is to cultivate and construct multiple organs on the human body chip at the same time, and then connect different organs and tissue cells through channels (bionic blood vessels), so as to realize the integration, interaction, and detection of multiple organs.
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- Strelez, C.; et al. Mumenthaler SM. Organs-on-chips: a decade of innovation. Trends in Biotechnology. 2023 Jan 18.
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