In vitro cell culture models are emerging as promising tools to understand human development, disease progression, and provide reliable, rapid and cost-effective results for drug discovery and screening. In recent years, an increasing number of in vitro models with complex organization and controlled microenvironment have been developed to mimic the in vivo organ structure and function. The invention of organoids, self-organized organ-like cell aggregates that originate from multipotent stem cells, has allowed a whole new level of biomimicry to be achieved. Microfluidic organoid-on-a-chip platforms can facilitate better nutrient and gas exchange and recapitulate 3D tissue architecture and physiology. They have the potential to transform the landscape of drug development and testing. In this review, we discuss the challenges in the current organoid models and describe the recent progress in the field of organoid-on-a-chip.
This work was supported by A*STAR JCO Grant 15302FG152 awarded to D.C.