MAY 31, 2018 01:30 PM PDT

Organ-on-a-Chip: Improving Biological Insight Using In Vitro Microtechnology

C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen
      E.M.J. (Sabeth) Verpoorte has almost 30 years of research experience in the microfluidics or lab-on-a-chip field. Her introduction to the field came in 1990, when she came from Canada as a postdoctoral researcher in the pioneering µTAS group headed by Professor A. Manz at Ciba Ltd., Basel, Switzerland. In July 1996 she became a team leader in the group of Professor Nico F. de Rooij at the Institute of Microtechnology (IMT), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where her research interests concentrated on microfluidics for (bio)analytical applications. In 2003, Sabeth made a strategic switch to assume a Chair in the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, making a foray into a new research environment dominated by cells, tissue and drug development. Ongoing projects involve the development of organ-on-a-chip systems to study drug metabolism (liver chip, gut chip), assess organ interactions (intestine-liver chip) and diagnose endothelial dysfunction. Efforts have also concentrated on continuous-flow particle separation strategies, paper microfluidics, as well as miniaturized analytical instrumentation (paper spray ionization, multidimensional chromatography). The acquisition of interdisciplinary projects involving scientists from the life sciences, chemical, and physics disciplines continues to be a driving force in her research. She is or has been involved in several international scientific organizations and journal editorial boards.


    The miniaturized total chemical analysis system has been successfully repurposed over the past twenty years or so for engineering cellular microenvironments which more faithfully mimic in vivo conditions for cell- and tissue-based studies. The organ-on-a-chip is a recent outgrowth of this effort, comprising systems that extend beyond microfluidic perfusion culture to allow the establishment of microphysiological systems comprising interconnected multiorgan systems. This presentation will review the development of the organ-on-a-chip over the past decade, and focus on examples from our labs in which we have designed organ-chip systems incorpo-rating means to both monitor culture conditions and quantify cell behaviour.  

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Understanding what an organ-on-a-chip is

    2. Understanding how microfluidics enable dynamic experimental control in studies using organs-on-a-chip

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