ORCHID Workshop report on establishing a global and multi-stakeholder OoC ecosystem

Posted on: 21/10/2020

There is an increasing interest for the development and use of Organ-on-Chip devices (OoCs) in microfluidics and tissue engineering, as this new technology can offer solutions to persisting problems in drug development and personalized disease treatments.

In 2017 the Horizon 2020 project “Organ-on-Chip In Development (ORCHID)” was initiated to create a roadmap for OoCs and to establish a network between academics, researchers, industrial partners, and regulatory institutions with the aim to move the use of OoCs  technologies from the laboratories into practice. Last year a multi-stakeholder Vision Workshop was organized to discuss the future potential of these OoCs in research and industry.

But what is now the goal of an OoC ? “It is NOT intended to replicate a whole, living organ but rather to sustain a minimal functional (sub)unit of an organ or tissue that can controllably recapitulate salient aspects of human physiology.” Therefore, the most desirable features of a proper OoC model are summarized into three categories:

  1. Tissue architecture
  • Integrated longterm cell culture in defined spatial organizations ;
  • Tissuetissue interfaces/cell-cell contacts/cellular heterogeneity ;
  • Miniaturization.
  1. Conditions
  • Controlled microenvironment (topology, biochemistry, physics) ;
  • Controlled dynamics (fluid flow, electromechanical stimuli) ;
  • Continuous automated perfusion ;
  • Realtime monitoring of multiple physical, bio- and electro-chemical parameters ;
  • Automated reproducible multisample analysis, comparable with R&D robotics ;
  • Largescale manufacturability.
  1. Functions
  • Physio and pathological relevance ;
  • Recapitulation of organ structure and function ;
  • Recapitulation of dynamic mechanobiological properties and stimuli response of organs.

Currently available OoCs models require improvements and further development to meet these needs. In order to support the researchers to optimize these changes, and stimulate the further progress in this field, ORCHID has defined a set of recommendations which are outlined in the report.

Read the full report here

Key unmet needs and challenges for OoC development