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Chapter 7

‘Body-on-a-Chip’ Technology and Supporting Microfluidics

In order to effectively streamline current drug development protocols, there is a need to generate high information content preclinical screens capable of generating data with a predictive power in relation to the activity of novel therapeutics in humans. Given the poor predictive power of animal models, and the lack of complexity and interconnectivity of standard in vitro culture methodologies, many investigators are now moving toward the development of physiologically and functionally accurate culture platforms composed of human cells to investigate cellular responses to drug compounds in high-throughput preclinical studies. The generation of complex, multi-organ in vitro platforms, built to recapitulate physiological dimensions, flow rates and shear stresses, is being investigated as the logical extension of this drive. Production and application of a biologically accurate multi-organ platform, or ‘body-on-a-chip’, would facilitate the correct modelling of the dynamic and interconnected state of living systems for high-throughput drug studies as well as basic and applied biomolecular research. This chapter will discuss current technologies aimed at producing ‘body-on-a-chip’ models, as well as highlighting recent advances and important challenges still to be met in the development of biomimetic single-organ systems for drug development purposes.

Publication details

Print publication date
09 Dec 2014
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Drug Discovery