Organ-on-a-chip devices advance to market
To curb the high cost of drug development, there is an urgent need to develop more predictive tissue models using human cells to determine drug efficacy and safety in advance of clinical testing. Recent insights gained through fundamental biological studies have validated the importance of dynamic cell environments and cellular communication to the expression of high fidelity organ function. Building on this knowledge, emerging organ-on-a-chip technology is poised to fill the gaps in drug screening by offering predictive human tissue models with methods of sophisticated tissue assembly. Organ-on-a-chip start-ups have begun to spawn from academic research to fill this commercial space and are attracting investment to transform the drug discovery industry. This review traces the history, examines the scientific foundation and envisages the prospect of these renowned organ-on-a-chip technologies. It serves as a guide for new members of this dynamic field to navigate the existing scientific and market space.