Seven projects in the Organ-on-Chip Showcases call have been awarded a grant by Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH). The Top Sector is thus stimulating early phase Organ-on-Chip technology development with 2.76 million euros in Public-Private Partnership Allowance. A substantial investment that brings together knowledge institutions and companies from the Netherlands and abroad together in joint projects.

The Netherlands is internationally leading in two research areas that are combined in Organ-on-Chip technology: microfluidics technology and biomedical stem cell research. Organ-on-Chip technology has great potential for mimicking human (patho)physiological conditions for biomedical research and personalised screening of drugs particularly when combined with (patient) stem cells. To stimulate basic research on this technology, the Top Sector has been working together with the Dutch Institute for human Organ and Disease Model technologies (hDMT) to invest in new R&D projects.

The public-private projects that have been selected address a broad range of Organ-on-Chip technologies and related biomedical challenges, including the heart, brain, eye and blood vessels. This research will provide new insights in drug screening and mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases, including thrombosis, cancer and neurodegeneration leading to dementia. A total of eight companies, seven different knowledge institutions and one foundation have joined forces in these projects.

Christine Mummery, chair of hDMT: ‘We are really excited about the outcome of this excellent and timely call. It is good to see public and private parties joining forces to develop showcases for Organ-on-Chip technology that will demonstrate its tremendous value for many biomedical applications. Award of projects gives researchers in the Netherlands unique opportunities to develop and sustain this field.’

Investing in new Organ-on-Chip technology can lead to the reduction of animal experiments through development of alternative and perhaps better preclinical test models. This supports the Animal-free Innovation Transition Programme (TPI).
Interested to read more on these projects? Find information on the public-private projects awared here:

Capture tumor evolution on chip – VyCAP, Oncode Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht.
Heart-on-chip technology as a novel screening system for lipid-lowering therapy – River BioMedics, University of Twente, Leiden University Medical Center.
Developing animal-free methods to study thrombosis in cancer patients – Mimetas, Leiden University Medical Center.
Brain-on-a-chip to study dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease – InnoSer, Eindhoven University of Technology, University Medical Center Utrecht.
Growing real human small blood vessels in the laboratory – Ncardia, Mimetas, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research.
How do tumors communicate with other organs to cause metastasis? – VyCAP, Fluigent, BEOnChip, University of Twente, University Medical Center Utrecht.
Human pluriopotent stem cell derived organ-on-chip model of the outer blood-retinal barrier to target disease mechanisms in age-related macular degeneration – Boehringer Ingelheim, University of Twente, Leiden University Medical Center, Radboud University Medical Center, Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing.

Photography: Paul ter Baak and Marinke van der Helm, University of Twente

Categories: Biomedical technology