Janny van der Eijnden

During the online cluster meeting ‘Components’ organized by FHI, Industrial Electronics on Wednesday 2 September 2020, Dr Janny van den Eijnden-van Raaij, Managing director hDMT (Dutch Organ-on-Chip Consortium) will take you on a journey through the developments of Organ-op-Chip technology. In this cluster, members of FHI discuss market developments, the future of the market and challenges in an informal setting.

Organ-on-chips are microfluidic devices with living cell structures that, under controlled conditions, can mimic the dynamics, function and physiological response of an organ. These cells may be derived from stem cells from a healthy individual or patient, thus bringing their genetic properties into the chip. Organs-on-Chips can thus serve as tools for personalized medicine, but also as test systems for the development of drugs by pharma, as well as for food supplements, cosmetics and chemicals. This promising technology meets the need for better model systems than current conventional cell cultures and animal models.

Under the leadership of hDMT, the Dutch Organ-op-Chip consortium, a European roadmap has been drawn up, describing the steps to be taken to put the Organ-on-Chips into practice and market them. The main challenges are the qualification and standardization of the models.

hDMT takes the lead in setting up independent test centers, where newly developed Organ-on-Chips are characterized and qualified for a specific purpose.

Following the example of the Electronic Components and Systems industry, open technology platforms are being developed for standardization, offering a standardized interface and control for microfluidic chips from different makers. Within the framework of the roadmap, the recently established European Organ-on-Chip Society is committed to the acceptance of the Organ-op-Chip models by regulatory bodies and end-users by promoting dialogue between all stakeholders.

Sign up for the cluster meeting at FHI website.

Niet alleen de longen ondervinden ernstige schade door COVID-19, bij een deel van de patiënten ook het hart. De oorzaak is nog niet duidelijk. Door hartweefsel op een ‘organ-on-chip’ bloot te stellen aan het virus én aan de medicatie die wordt gebruikt, ontstaat een snel en gepersonaliseerd beeld van de oorzaken, en mogelijk ook de remedies. Het ‘Organ-on-Chip Center Twente’ van de Universiteit Twente trekt daarvoor samen op met het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum en de ondernemingen River Biomedics en NCardia, om deze kennis snel beschikbaar te maken.

Organ-on-chip systemen bieden de mogelijkheid om een miniatuurversie van een orgaan te bouwen. Dit mini-orgaan, meestal gevormd vanuit stamcellen, functioneert in een omgeving die lijkt op het echte lichaam dankzij een stelsel van vloeistofkanaaltjes en -reservoirs. Via die weg zijn ook andere stoffen toe te voegen, zoals medicatie. Voor het hart zijn er intussen modelsystemen die gebaseerd zijn op human pluripotent stem cells. Die kunnen volgens de onderzoekers ook ingezet worden voor tests met COVID-19 medicatie. En met modellen van het virus zélf: wat is het – tot nu toe onbegrepen – effect van het virus op het hart?

Snel en gepersonaliseerd

De grote voordelen zijn dat de resultaten snel beschikbaar zijn en dat zelfs het effect op de individuele patiënt zichtbaar wordt, bij gebruik van diens eigen cellen en bloed. Een gepersonaliseerde behandeling is dan mogelijk. De basis van het systeem is nu al beschikbaar, daar kan naar verwachting vlot op worden voortgebouwd. Doordat organ-on-chip systemen direct met menselijk weefsel werken, is een voordeel ook dat minder proefdieren nodig zijn.

In het project ‘MONACO-sprint’, modeling and attacking COVID-19 with Organs-on-Chips werken onderzoekers van het nieuwe Organ-on-Chip Center van de UT samen. Dit is een samenwerking van het TechMed Centre en het MESA+ Instituut van de UT.  De onderzoekers werken ook samen met collega’s van het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC). Partners uit het bedrijfsleven zijn de UT-spin-off River Biomedics en de in Leiden gevestigde onderneming NCardia. Het project wordt financieel ondersteund door Health~Holland.

Bron: nieuws University of Twente

NOCI Blog by Dennis Nahon NOCI PhD-student at LUMC

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. From the burden on our personal life to the restrictions it has put on our working life. We, as Organ-on-Chip (OoC) researchers haven’t been spared and most of us have only been able to show off our practical skills in alternative forms. While this has probably resulted in the creation of beautiful cakes and unlocking of legendary achievements on the PlayStation, it has not been the societal impact we were looking for. Having said this, it hasn’t been a surprise to see a range of initiatives regarding COVID-19 research from our OoC field. In this way, supporting the millions of people worldwide suffering from the virus and as a bonus proofing its added value to the scientific spectrum.

Within the NOCI-consortium, several labs have already made the effort to accommodate COVID-19 research while complying to the strict safety regulations set by the government. The Clevers group used their human small intestinal organoids to demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2-virus can replicate in intestinal epithelial cells. The University of Twente is setting up a collaboration with the University of Leiden and University of Nijmegen to develop a platform to study COVID-19 in their heart-on-chip and lung-on-chip model.

In the meantime, the University Medical Center Groningen is setting up a collaboration between their geneticists and virologists to study the effect of COVID-19 patient plasma on endothelial cells. Looking beyond our consortium, there have been several OOC groups repurposing their tools to study COVID-19. One example is the combined effort of the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto. Here they are adapting the previously established models in the lab of Milica Radisic, to study the interaction between the virus and various epithelial barriers such as nose, mouth, eyes and lung. Furthermore, there is a great effort from the Wyss institute, led by Donald Ingber, to demonstrate the applicability and flexibility of OOC models. Their recent preprint in BioRxiv shows great promise in the application of their lung-on-chip model in gaining knowledge about the virus and testing the efficacy of potential drugs.

Overall, it will still be an alien world for some time to come. A new way of working for everyone, adjusting to new regulations and protocols to keep our society healthy. Amongst this, the OoC research is an inspiring example of trying to make the most out of difficult times.

Additional reading

Source: NOCI, The Netherlands Organ-on-Chip Initiative project

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The new Organ-on-Chip Center Twente is a center of expertise aimed to bring together researchers interested in Organ-on-Chip and share their knowledge. Join us for the launch and learn what the OoCCT can do for you!

For registration and more information see the website.

Program details, speakers biography, etc. etc. are available via the event platform after registration.


Welcome & Inspiration Journey Albert van den Berg, University of Twente

Introduction of the OoCCT
Liliana Moreira Teixeira Leijten, Berend Jan van Meer & Andries van der Meer, University of Twente


Fighting COVID-19 with organs on chips
​ Robert Passier, University of Twente

Bloodvessels on a Chip; Vascular differentiation and disease modeling
Dr. Valeria Orlova, Leiden University Medical Centre

Technology meets biology and application: organ-on-a-chip at TNO
Dr. Ivana Bobeldijk-Pastorova – TNO


Interactive discussion with you,
– What does the OoCCT have to offer and how can we collaborate?
– on what topics would you like to collaborate?
Liliana Moreira Teixeira Leijten, Berend Jan van Meer & Andries van der Meer, University of Twente

hDMT invites you to join the European Organ-on-Chip Society and attend the online meeting as a full member. Source: hDMT website

Due to the current circumstances there will be no physical meeting in Uppsala on 8-9 July 2020. As the programme is already in a mature state, the intention is to arrange a virtual meeting on the same days, including plenary lectures, oral presentations and an interactive poster session! More information will follow via EUROoCS annual meeting.

European Organ on a chip society

Researchers from different disciplines, organizations and countries will meet at EUROoCS 2020 in an open and dynamic atmosphere to share their knowledge, expertise and ideas. EUROoCS 2020 is a unique opportunity to start new collaborations or strengthen ongoing partnerships in the innovative and challenging field of Organ-on-Chip (OoC). The EUROoCS network of over 200 members will be built up further and attract many more researchers, including group leaders, but also young and upcoming scientists. EUROoCS will facilitate and stimulate the dialogue and multidisciplinary interaction between all parties involved in order to accelerate adoption of the promising OoC technology.


The EUROoCS 2020 conference is a scientific meeting covering all aspects related to research, development and application of OoC. Topics such as micro- and nanoengineering, microfluidics, tissue engineering, organoids, (multi)-organ models, standardization, upscaling, qualification, regulatory aspects and disease modeling, among others, will be addressed.


The format of the conference is similar to EUROoCS 2019 in Graz last year:
– Two-day meeting
– Keynote lectures
– Two parallel sessions
– Interactive poster session
– Plenty opportunities for interaction, networking, exchanging results

More information about membership here: