Multiorgan-on-a-Chip: A Systemic Approach To Model and Decipher Inter-Organ Communication

Multiorgan-on-a-chip (multi-OoC) technology has great potential to metamorphose research in biology and medicine by providing holistic and personalized models for understanding and treating multisystem diseases.

Figure: Various Multiorgan-on-a-Chip Combinations as a Model of Human Physiology and Pathophysiology in Different Biomedical Applications. Figure reproduced from Picollet-D’hahan et.al. , Trends in Biotechnology  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2020.11.014 (CC BY 4.0)

This paper addresses the need for comprehensive multiorgan models with a systemic dimension ,highlights scenarios in which multiorgan models are advantageous and gives an overview of existing multi-OoC platforms. Also the remaining challenges for the realization of multi-OoC platforms and their worldwide adoption are discussed here.

About the authors
The publication was co-written by two Members of the AMBER lab (University of Twente, NL), Séverine Le Gac and Agnieszka Zukowska and two Members of the CEA Grenoble, France, Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan (Organizing Committee EUROoCS 2021 & Chair EUROoCS 2022) and Iris Lemeunier.

Organ-on-Chip: Playing LEGO® With Mini-Organs to Reduce Animal Testing and Make Medicines Safer

This publication in the journal Frontiers for Young Minds is specifically designed to an audience of kids and teenagers.

“Figure reproduced from Rogal et al. Front. Young Minds 2020, 8, 544390 (CC BY 4.0)”

In an easy-to-understand language the Organ-on-Chip technology is introduced and the basic underlying concepts described. Examples and descriptive pictures of Organ-on-Chip modules are provided as well as an overview of applications.
The publication can be downloaded (free download) in pdf (https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2020.544390)

Abstract
Have you ever pictured yourself as a LEGO®-mini-figure? That is pretty cool, right?! But now, instead of picturing yourself as an astronaut, superhero, or elf-figure, try to imagine your own body being miniature and built from LEGO®–one brick for each of your organs. Sound weird? Let us explain why a mini LEGO®-version of you could be extremely useful and could become reality in the future. Such technology might help end testing that uses laboratory animals and help your doctors understand your disease. We use people’s cells and small plastic housings to build mini-organs the size of small LEGO®-bricks, such as a beating heart or energy-storing fat tissue. Similar to playing LEGO®, we can also connect different organ-bricks and study how they talk and work with each other. In this article, we will tell you how this all works and why it is so much better than animal experiments.

About the authors and editors
The publication was composed by Members of the µOrgano Lab (University of Tübingen) Julia Rogal, Madalena Cipriano and Peter Loskill (Vice-Chair EUROoCS).

FDA Report on Advancing Alternative Methods

Dr. Susanne Fitzpatrick, senior advisor for toxicology at FDA about the report: ‘The report entitled Advancing Alternative Methods at FDA was developed by the FDA Alternative Methods Working Group to highlight the significant progress FDA scientists have made in our product centers and offices in laying the groundwork for integrating alternative approaches into FDA regulatory programs. It demonstrates FDA’s strong commitment to reducing animal testing and to encouraging stakeholders to continue partnering with FDA to achieve this important goal.

FDA scientists have vast expertise and experience using available tools to make tough scientific decisions about the safety and effectiveness of the multitude of therapeutic products in our regulatory portfolio. Many of the important research activities on alternative methods described in this report are being conducted in FDA laboratories, and many of these include collaborations with outside stakeholders. Results from these ground-breaking research activities add to the body of knowledge that FDA can draw upon as it evaluates regulatory acceptance criteria for new alternative methods.

FDA believes partnerships between our diverse programs and outside stakeholders are essential to furthering progress in developing strong alternative approaches. FDA is open to dialogue from all sectors of the population because we believe it will strengthen our scientific and regulatory thinking’.

The report is available here.