Issue 12, 2012

Microengineered physiological biomimicry: Organs-on-Chips


Microscale engineering technologies provide unprecedented opportunities to create cell culture microenvironments that go beyond current three-dimensional in vitro models by recapitulating the critical tissue–tissue interfaces, spatiotemporal chemical gradients, and dynamic mechanical microenvironments of living organs. Here we review recent advances in this field made over the past two years that are focused on the development of ‘Organs-on-Chips’ in which living cells are cultured within microfluidic devices that have been microengineered to reconstitute tissue arrangements observed in living organs in order to study physiology in an organ-specific context and to develop specialized in vitro disease models. We discuss the potential of organs-on-chips as alternatives to conventional cell culture models and animal testing for pharmaceutical and toxicology applications. We also explore challenges that lie ahead if this field is to fulfil its promise to transform the future of drug development and chemical safety testing.

Graphical abstract: Microengineered physiological biomimicry: Organs-on-Chips

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Focus on USA

Article information

Article type
23 Jan 2012
05 Apr 2012
First published
03 May 2012

Lab Chip, 2012,12, 2156-2164

Microengineered physiological biomimicry: Organs-on-Chips

D. Huh, Y. Torisawa, G. A. Hamilton, H. J. Kim and D. E. Ingber, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 2156 DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40089H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity